Play is extremely essential for a child's development irrespective of age. The methods of play, gradually change as children grow older. Children require a mixture of free and structured play, as mentioned in the picture. Young children should be exposed to more of free play in order to develop their imagination and creativity. As children grow older, they participate more in structured play activities (sports).
Few tips for parents in order to encourage children to play:
- Try to maintain consistent play-time routine everyday
- Do not take away the child's play-time for academic activities
- Encourage more of outdoor play rather than indoor play (such as computer, video games, tabs etc)
- Avoid over-protection of children as it hinders their social skill development (negotiation, problem solving, initiating friendships)
- For children who are hyperactive physical play is extremely important in order to constructively channelize their energy
- In children with special needs supervision, monitoring and modelling social play can benefit the child