Children enjoy play and why it is important for their development - Eagan, MN

Physical play is also very important because kids learn that if they ate right they have more energy and if they had enough sleep they perform better when they attempt to climb, jump, and have better aim with the ball. They have an easier time staying relaxed and not getting worked up. This type of self-awareness and awareness of those around us is a key skill that helps them in school, in their relationships with others, and throughout their lives.  

From “Peek-a-boo, I see you” to building castles in the sandbox, to getting a team together for a fun dodgeball game, a climbing competition between four friends, to “Ring around the Rosies”, we need to let our kids play. Basketball, dodgeball, competitions, through an obstacle course, fidget ladders, and all the many Rockin’ Jump Eagan attractions are much more than just fun. They help your child develop better social skills, body awareness, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, following rules that are for their safety, and how to get along with other kids. 

Play is so important for child development that it is part of the international rights of children and even recognized by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The reasons stated by Hirsh-Patek et al. in 2009 are that “playing offers a key way to support the learning of whole children in developmentally appropriate play. There are so many positive and important aspects to play that it is important to allow kids to play with other children for their best chance to succeed in life. 

Even as early as 1932 Mildred Parten studied child’s play and found that children’s development is fostered by kids being allowed to play and self-organize. She identified six different skill sets that are still in use by educators to determine the degree of healthy child development. They include: 

  1. Unoccupied behavior – not engaged in any activity 
  2. Solitary independent play – the child can play alone with no other children within 3 feet
  3. Onlooker behavior – the child observes others play but is not joining in
  4. Parallel play – the child plays next to others without verbal interaction 
  5. Associative play – the child talks with others but doesn’t attempt to organize a team effort with other children 
  6. Co-operative and organized supplementary play – the child takes an active role in planning and structuring a play situation together in collaboration with other children.

We all know that there are so many books written about it that if we read them all we would not have time to care for our children. So the most important takeaway from all these many books is that kids need time and space to play with each other without adult interference. Naturally, we want kids to be safe and we should interfere if genuinely necessary. But on the whole, it is important for kids to “just be.”  

Kids that are allowed to play with others learn so very much. They learn to create and problem-solving, they learn to take turns, collaborate, and follow rules. They learn to feel and show empathy. They learn to be motivated and to motivate others. When kids spend time with other kids in social situations they learn to put themselves into the proverbial shoes of others. They learn to figure out how other kids might feel in a given situation and as a result, they tend to be intellectually and socially more advanced than children who did not have exposure to other kids and playtime with other kids. 

For younger kids, we have set aside time to practice all these skills during Junior Jumper hours on Friday and Sunday mornings. Kids improve their school readiness when they are used to meet other kids and have an opportunity to play with them. So book your special time at Junior Jumper Hour now. It is fun for parents as well since you meet other parents with young kids regularly and you get to share your know-how and experiences.

For older kids, the entire park is designed to provide them with many opportunities to play and learn on their own and with others. Check out our many attractions by following this link and help your youngsters forge strong relationships with other children with their membership

Let them play! 

Source: School Readiness through Play