Three little girls playing in the sandbox

The Importance of Play: 5 Benefits for Kids’ Development

Keeping active, staying healthy, and being happy are naturally a part of playing for kids. The importance of play is beyond imaginable for young people’s healthy and proper development. Kids need unstructured play opportunities from birth until they are teenagers in order to maintain good physical and mental health.

Many parents are aware that play is important but are they really aware of how much? Today in our blog, we will emphasize the weight of play and see all of its benefits

The Importance of Play

The play has many benefits and we will state all of them. However, here are the 4 main things that play can help with.

  • Improves the cognitive side
  • Improve physical development and dexterity
  • Improve social relations
  • Improve the emotional well-being

It is through play that kid explore and learn about the world and about themselves. The skills they learn also help them succeed in school, work, and relationships, including:

  • Boosting their confidence
  • Reinforces self-esteem
  • Make them more resilient
  • Improves social interactions and skills
  • Teach them about independence
  • Pique their curiosity
  • Adapting to challenging circumstances

Benefits of the Kids’ Play

The mention things above are about how much important play is in certain situations. Now, we will state all of the benefits of play

Play is is voluntary and pleasurable act where kids manifest their imagination and release endorphin and dopamine hormones of happiness

The act of playing nurtures relationships with others and with oneself. It increases happiness while relieving stress. Aside from that, kids play fosters empathy, creativity, and collaboration, as well as grit and toughness. Kids; development can be significantly harmed if they are not given the opportunity to play.


Now, let’s check the top 5 benefits of play for kid’ development. 

Creativity and imagination are fostered through play

Kids foster their imagination through play. They invent imaginary games or lose themselves in made-up settings. Kids build their confidence by acting out various solutions. They establish their own norms and learn to abide by them or modify them as necessary. These are practical abilities for navigating life and establishing connections with people. The capacity to visualize one object as another is known as symbolic play. A stick, a bucket, and pinecones, for instance, can be transformed into a cooking tool, a pot, and tasty ingredients. Playing with symbols is crucial to a kid’s healthy growth. It helps kids develop the abilities they’ll need for the problem-solving situation and future learning. Additionally, it enhances creativity, which helps people succeed in many aspects of their lives.

Play promotes cognitive development

This mean that play is necessary for  healthy brain development. Kids direct their own play while they are engaged in unstructured play. They are not constrained by adult-directed activities or schedules. Unstructured play fosters a kid’s brain’s healthy development. The brain’s neuronal connections are boosted and strengthened by it. We use these neural pathways in the brain when we are thinking. Unstructured play is also beneficial for developing and preserving the prefrontal cortex. This area affects how a youngster learns, handle challenges, and learn about their surroundings.

Emotional and behavioral advantages of play 

Adults tend to withdraw into calming pursuits when they are feeling overwhelmed. We exercise, play board games, go around the neighborhood, or spend some quality time with friends. These pursuits are not just diversionary. They allow us to reconnect with the things in life that give us a sense of purpose and bring play back into our lives. Kids work the same way, but they need much more time playing. This is obligatory because spending a lot of the time playing can help kid become less anxious, stressed, and irritable. And, of course, helps kid to boost happiness, joy, and independence.
However, kids’ play can also help adults better understand the youngsters, especially their emotions. When you observe your kids, listen to it, and ask them questions, you will show them that you care. It conveys that their experiences and feelings matter.
Another benefit from playing is that playtime is a kind of school where kids can learn a lot. They learn to navigate and explore the world around them, based on what they understand and can process. Working in groups, sharing, negotiating, resolving conflicts, and speaking up for oneself are all covered.

Encourages independence

Children frequently lack control or input into their daily activities. They are instructed on what to do, when to do it, and where to go for a large portion of their days. They have the chance to establish the rules and exercise authority in the domain of play.
Independent play is as important as playing in group of friends, because kids benefit from having a greater sense of independence. Kids who are at ease playing alone feel more capable of taking on other duties and finding out their place in the group. Even future group socialization benefits from developing these skills. Kids who are playing alone can pick up social clues by watching how groups interact.
The brain of a kids takes up a challenge when alone or bored because they need to find new and exciting ways to entertain themselves.


Encourages physical health

As your baby grows it becomes more and more active which is total normal and desirable thing. Physical play, which includes all forms of play that keep kids moving, is something that they require a lot of. It can be anything, from certain sports like basketball, football, or tennis, to simple playing in the playground and being active. It helps them develop their body awareness and fortifies neural connections. It’s a terrific sort of exercise that encourages healthy development of kids feet and their whole bodies.
Time spent outside each day is essential as well. It helps kids have better mental health and self-control. Put kids in layers and outdoor clothing if the weather is cold so they can enjoy their time outdoors even in winter. They will be refreshed, happier and at peace.
All throughout a kid’s development,  regular, energetic play has beneficial and extensive benefits on their health. No matter a kid’s skills, passions, or chances, physical play benefits kids in the following ways:

  • Enhance reflexes
  • Practice movement control
  • Create improved balance 
  • Build stronger muscles, 
  • Boost bone density

Increase Kids’ Play Time in Presence of Adult

As often as you can, set aside an hour each week to play with your kid. If you can, do that when you kids asks because playtime is directed by your kid and not you. That implies that you oblige your kids’ request to join in the sandbox, for example. Or you can play the baby and the kid will play the mother. Another level of meaningful play is made possible by your presence. Your kid might utilize your focus to help a kid work through a difficult issue, act out a doctor’s appointment, or try something new and difficult, like walking on a balance beam.

While on a play date or at the playground, you might wish to assist in directing your kids’ play. Obviously, we all want our kids to play in an associative and collaborative way, but it takes time. Should we approach them and ask if he/she wants to climb with us? Kids’ play offers a wealth of opportunities for their development, including the acquisition of new knowledge and social skills. While adults can offer mild supervision or follow a kids’ lead, play is most important and fruitful when youngsters are in command.

In Conclusion About The Importance of Play

As a parent you already probably know that play is a big thing for kids. There are numerous benefits that kid have while playing both alone and in company, outside, and inside. However, even though we know that playtime is important, were we really aware of the importance of play for real?

We hope we managed to let you know and understand how important play is in the life of kids from the earliest age. It’s not about their physical health but their mental and psychological  health as well. So, next time you want to give your kids a smartphone or play them TV, remember this. Give him/her some time to work on their imagination, give them opportunities to express themselves and explore the world as much as you can!


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.