- 1 What are the benefits of physical play in the early years?
- 1.1 Supports the healthy growth of bones and muscles:
- 1.2 Helps improve balance and overall coordination:
- 1.3 Improves mental health:
- 1.4 Improves creativity:
- 1.5 Promotes confidence and self-esteem:
- 1.6 Improves communication:
- 1.7 Prevents obesity, among other health complications:
- 1.8 Equality in society:
- 1.9 Improves social skills:
- 1.10 Supports cognitive development:
- 2 How can I promote physical play in the early years?
- 3 Types of physical play for children in their early years
A good percentage of children engage in physical play. This is because they find it fun and interact with other children in the process. Physical play involves any activity that incorporates movement.
It could be through dancing, running, or jumping. Typically, physical activity is essential for your child’s overall development. In this article, we look at the benefits of physical play in the early years.
What are the benefits of physical play in the early years?
Supports the healthy growth of bones and muscles:
When children engage in physical play, they strengthen and build their bones and muscles. Consequently, they improve their stamina and become more immune to bone diseases. Through physical play, your child will be physically fit and stronger.
Helps improve balance and overall coordination:
Coordination is the most important thing children develop in their early years. It takes some time before children perfect their coordination. But physical play helps children develop their coordination faster.
When children indulge in physical play, they enhance their hand-eye coordination. Subsequently, this enables them to have better pencil control in school. Moreover, it helps them eat better.
In turn, your child is likely to have an easy time in school and score high marks on their assessment tests.
Improves mental health:
Another benefit of physical play in children is that it improves mental health. When children engage in physical play, their brains release endorphins, a feel-good hormone. This hormone is responsible for generating good moods.
Children expend any negative energy like anger and frustration through physical play. As a result, they are likely to feel better mentally after playing. This way, they won’t indulge in unpleasant behavior or face serious mental health issues like depression at an early age.
Physical play helps improve your child’s creativity. When your child indulges in an activity like dancing, they may have to create their own dance moves that rhyme with the music. This expands their creativity and, in turn, improves their overall performance in school.
Promotes confidence and self-esteem:
Through physical play, children get to build their confidence. When interacting with other children, they share their ideas and opinions. This makes them feel independent and confident that their opinions count.
When children win in competitive games, it makes them feel more confident in their abilities. Many children’s games have minimal consequences in the event of failure. Thus, most children are not always afraid to try again after losing. In turn, this boosts their self-esteem.
One of the major benefits of physical play is that it improves communication. When interacting with other children during physical play, your child will learn to express themselves correctly.
They will know the power of saying the right thing at the right time. Moreover, they will be patient and empathetic in their speech. As a result, they are likely to be successful as adults.
Prevents obesity, among other health complications:
Physical play enables your child to burn some calories. Although they are not trying to lose weight, physical play helps children stay physically fit.
If your child stays without indulging in any physical activity, they may start having obesity problems at a young age. And this increases their chances of getting heart disease and high blood pressure in the long run.
Equality in society:
When children come together to play, they create a neutral ground for all children. Children play with their mates without evaluating their gender, background, or nationality. As they grow, most of them will still maintain these friendships. Consequently, this helps in promoting equality in society.
Physical play helps your child improve their social skills. When playing with other children, they are likely to learn how to make new friends. So, encourage your children to play with their peers both at school and at home.
Supports cognitive development:
Physical play significantly contributes to cognitive development. Constant play fosters the healthy development of the brain. As a result, your child is likely to think better and perform well in school.
How can I promote physical play in the early years?
As seen earlier, physical play is essential for your child’s overall health. Here are some ways you can promote physical play in the early years.
Encourage outdoor learning:
The first thing to do is to promote outdoor learning for children. Generally, children have a lower concentration span. Getting them outdoors to learn is important. Contrary to popular belief, outdoor learning is equally as beneficial as indoor learning.
There is a broad spectrum of resources that support outdoor learning. As teachers, some of the activities for your young students include running, star jumping, and dancing. These physical activities enable your child to have fun outside.
Engaging in indoor activities:
You can also encourage physical activities in indoor spaces. Some indoor physical activities to consider for your children include drawing, cutting, folding, and sticking pictures. Some preschools encourage the tractor cutting activity, which requires children to build their own tractor with paper from scratch.
Clay molding is also a great indoor physical activity. Such activities promote eye-hand coordination. Not to mention, they are perfect for small spaces.
Types of physical play for children in their early years
Some of the physical activities to consider for your children include:
Dancing is a great physical activity for children. All you have to do is turn on the music your child enjoys and watch them move to the beats. If your child is starting to walk, the ‘baby shark’ song is a great way to get them to move.
Preschoolers engage in a lot of dance games. Dancing is fun, so most children will enjoy this physical activity. If your child enjoys the dance, they’ll often try to sing along to the background music. This undoubtedly improves their memory.
Most preschool teachers encourage their students to run when outdoors. Children enjoy running, and this exercise is a great way to keep them physically fit. Since running is competitive, your child will learn to be different in the crowd and emerge as the winner.
Ball games are a great way to improve your child’s muscle and bone health. A popular game among small children is rolling the ball. This game requires one child to push a ball towards their peer when their name is mentioned.
They can either use their hands or legs to pass the ball. Subsequently, ball games keep your children physically fit as well as improve their coordination.
Girls love jumping from the rope. Skipping keeps the body in movement and promotes healthy blood circulation. Skipping is a great outdoor activity for preschool kids. Also, since skipping is competitive, your child will learn the importance of delivering their best in every given task.
The final takeaway
Ultimately, physical play is essential for your child’s health. Physical play improves bone health, mental health, and supports coordination. Moreover, physical play helps in improving communication, creativity, and self-esteem.
Thus, always encourage your child to take part in physical play. Examples of physical activities that your child can take part in include dancing, running, and jumping.