The Importance of Play

Play. What is play? How do we play? Why would we want to play?

Play is such an important part of life, especially in the past few years. Kids have not had the chance to experience play and how it can help in life. Play can be tied to many different kinds of development such as cognitive, social, emotional, and physical. Everyone needs these kinds of skills throughout their life and learning them at a young age can be useful in later times. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, there are five essential components to play: 

1. Children make their own decisions 

2. Children are naturally motivated 

3. Children become immersed in the moment 

4. Play is spontaneous, not scripted

5. Play is enjoyable 

So essentially, play is the universal language of childhood. Through play, children learn to understand each other and the world around them. We want children to experience life and learn by themselves. With play, anyone can do that. You can feel like a child once again; feel your youth. 

Play is different for each individual person on this Earth. It can be something small like running around with your dog, or big like spending the whole day at the beach with your friends. Play is different for every person because it depends on what someone needs at the time. Even though there can be many differences, there is something that all the play has in common, play is unstructured. People can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. This is favorable because it lets people have the freedom with what they are doing and gives them time to breathe. For me, dance is my time to play, be free, and live my youth. Some examples of play could be board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, coloring, jigsaw puzzles, sports, arts, family, friends, school, food, traveling, social games, and many more. 

Play can be helpful in more ways than you think. There has been a high decline of play in the past 60 – 70 years; this takes away from children’s youth and time to experience the world and themselves. The decline of play has been affected by a couple reasons including safety, time, and growing technology. In changing times, parents want to keep their children safe and make sure nothing bad could ever happen to them. I think everyone can agree with this statement, no one wants something bad to happen to a child or young adult and that is why we need something to change. There have been changes to neighborhood protocols, rules set up for older people, and more playgrounds around the town. People are trying for a change, and we want something to change. Time and growing technology also have the same meaning as safety. We want the best for our children and newer generations, we are trying to find changes and ways we can make it better for them. It might not be perfect now but we can all find our youth or ‘play’ once again. 

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