“We don’t stop playing because we are growing old. We grow old because we stop playing!”
Do you ever wonder…..How is it that children learn to communicate? It seems to be a miracle of life. One day they’re doing ‘tummy time,’ the next they’re explaining to you a detailed fantasy they’ve imagined. It seems like learning to communicate is something innate, something that we have all developed without putting in any effort. However, that is not completely true. All children learn language through a variety of means, yet the most effective way is actually the most fun way to learn… let’s play.
We can all remember the games that we played when we were young. Those are typically our most cherished moments. However, the games we played did more than just entertain, they taught us the skills we need to communicate.
Play provides a great opportunity to practice different sounds, turn take with other children, a skill necessary for communication, and use of imagination to create something new and exciting. Play allows children to form meaningful relationships between themselves and their friends and encourages children to express their feelings, both positive or negative in a safe way. Play is very important in all aspects of development. Through play, children learn to use non-verbal communication skills, negotiate with peers, communicate their ideas effectively. Play can actually encourage children to play out their fears and fantasies safely. It helps with problem solving skills and allows kids to independently organize their thoughts and feelings so they can deal with situations effectively.
Who would have thought that such a fun thing like play, can actually be so impactful on language development, communication and managing daily living?
My message to you: Don’t grow old… Continue being a child and PLAY, PLAY, PLAY with your kids, as much as you can!