Play is a way for children to have fun, learn, and explore through activities like games, pretend play, drawing, and running around. Play is a vital part of any child’s mental and physical development, allowing them to expand their growing abilities in a safe environment.
Play at school and recreational play help children develop essential mental, physical, emotional, and social skills. Through play, children discover their limits, empathy, the importance of cooperation, and other useful skills. Let’s examine the importance of play in school and at home and how it can benefit your child’s academic success.
The Role of Play for Elementary Students
Children naturally want to play as they begin to grow and gain more independence. Young children especially want to explore the world around them, examining new objects and places and starting to push their limits with playtime.
Structured play helps improve children’s physical and socio-emotional development, along with their mental health. With internally motivated but structured play, children can safely test their abilities and grow their skills. Child-centered play can have a significant role in children’s academic lives — it’s essential children get play so they can test boundaries and have fun.
The Impact of Play on Academic Performance
Getting a variety of play cultivates different skills and development. Through the power of play, children grow and improve their creativity, cognitive functions, and social skills. Along with being fun, playing and using their imaginations allows children to develop their critical thinking, memory, and cause-and-effect skills.
Recess and free playtime help improve children’s attention and concentration, which means they can stay on-task when they go back to class. Overall, play helps limit disruptive behaviors during class, as it lets kids get out their energy in productive ways. Letting children experiment with free play in early childhood sets them up for future academic and social success in school.
Play can also be a part of class. Classes that promote creative skills, break times, free play, and social interaction allow children to build and develop essential skills, providing them with essential building blocks for success. Children who engage in free play are honing their cognitive, physical, and social skills — the more these are developed, the better children can perform while growing up.
When children play with others, alone, or with props, it helps them test and explore social, mental, and physical boundaries. Play allows for free expression, creativity, and puzzle-solving. Encouraging curiosity and exploration through play helps develop cognitive functions and development. With open-ended solo or collaborative play, children can exercise their intellectual skills, improving their critical thinking, imaginative, and conceptualizing skills.
The Benefits of Play in School for Elementary Students
Play is important in the classroom because it’s an essential part of childhood development. It helps form meaningful connections and builds skills that set children up for a lifetime of success. Using a variety of play activities helps fully stimulate children’s brains and bodies, helping them grow during these crucial developmental stages. Some of the excellent benefits of child-centered play include:
While play helps exercise children’s minds, it also strengthens their bodies. Outdoor activities, in particular, help them improve their flexibility, strength, and agility. Allowing them to climb on play places, run and jump during sports and games, and get general physical movement helps their growing bodies become stronger and sturdier.
Pushing their limits and trying new activities — whether through sports, dance, swimming, or running — also improves coordination, muscle control, and reflexes. Trying new physical activities helps them push their limits and test physical boundaries — essential skills for navigating the world.
Social and group play allow children to interact with others, letting them collaborate and strategize during different activities. Working and playing with others help children improve their group, leadership, and creativity skills.
Whenever others are involved in play, children must learn to communicate effectively, share, let others speak, resolve conflicts, negotiate, and more. All of these tools are necessary for adult life, and starting to work on them young helps provide children with the foundation they need to succeed later in life.
There are also emotional benefits to playtime for children. Playing in a group helps children learn to self-regulate — norms, conduct, and rules instilled by groups during play assists children in developing emotional control. They learn to pay attention during games and activities. Additionally, they must deal with frustration, anticipation, and concession during group or guided play. Children learn to regulate their emotions to facilitate conversation and cooperation during playtime, an essential developmental step for any child to learn.
Play especially helps improve social-emotional learning, allowing children to build empathy skills. They can learn to form positive emotions toward others, gain self-confidence, read social cues, and understand other people’s perspectives. These social-emotional learning skills are learned by directly interacting and playing with others, giving children the emotional foundation they’ll need for the rest of their lives.
How Commonwealth Charter Academy Promotes Play in School
Online learning can sometimes lead to less social interaction and play between children. Because play is vital to their development, getting children involved in clubs and field trips can help them get the social and interactive experiences they need. That’s why CCA works to encourage play in children through our courses, flexible break times, and personalized scheduling.
Parents can encourage play for their children enrolled at CCA using our flexible class schedules. To help support necessary growth in children, use CCA’s flexible scheduling to promote break times for children. This break from school work will help children build these essential foundational skills and help provide a pause from learning.
For breaks, set up an area inside or outside with toys, clothes, and games where children can freely engage in play and express themselves. Video games are another way to improve cognitive and social functions in children, especially when they’re given tools to work with computers themselves.
Guided play in the classroom through music, art, physical education, and game activities helps provide a framework for children to play and develop their intrapersonal and mental skills. At CCA, our elementary curriculum includes physical education, art, and music. Children are given digital, print, and multimedia resources to learn from to help expose them to different mediums and enrich their growth. Interactive activities used in the classroom space can facilitate learning and development for improved childhood growth.
We also encourage play, learning, and socialization in group activities like school clubs and field trips. CCA offers many clubs and activities for students, providing them with the tools to build their developmental skills and work with other students in creative sessions. Along with clubs, we offer many field trips designed to promote education and socialization. Children can learn the necessary skills while enriching their minds and expanding their horizons.
Contact Us to Learn More Today
At CCA, our online charter school programs provide students with flexible cyber learning. Children in cyber learning programs can adjust their schedules to fit their needs, allowing them time to play and cultivate essential developmental skills through imaginative activities. CCA students benefit from personalized learning, flexible schedules, open teacher-student communication, and plenty of in-person socialization opportunities.
Students can collaborate to problem solve, build critical thinking skills, and reach their fullest potential through our carefully constructed educational programs. Our wide range of student events allows children to express their creativity with each other. Contact us today to learn more about our play and social development opportunities.