It’s no secret that young children love to play and mess around. Whether they’re running around on a playground, playing with dolls, or building with construction sets, they love to keep busy. Numerous studies over the years have shown that children need this time to play as a part of their development and learning. Those who play more tend to be happier and more developed by the time they begin preschool or kindergarten.
Research done by Argos, a retail group, further defines the importance of playtime: more than 60% of adults who now work in design-heavy jobs like architecture and design, played with toys like building blocks when they were children. Along the same lines, another study showed that 66% of those working in math-related jobs, like banking and accounting, liked playing with puzzles as children. Similarly, those who played with toys where they created stories, like you would with dolls, tended to be more creative as they aged.
The toys that kids play with during those key years of development play a large part in the rest of their lives, thus proving that playtime is incredibly important for young children. Three to six year olds should be playing with things that have them solve problems, like puzzles with 12 to 20 pieces, blocks that snap together, magnets for kids, collections and other small objects they can sort, etc. It teaches them key skills, like how to sort by length, width, height, shape, color, smell, quantity, and other features. Magnets for kids, building blocks, and construction sets can be incredibly helpful in their development.
While playtime is a time for children to have fun and be a kid, it is also a key piece in their learning and development, both before they begin school and after. Many parents restrict playtime on the basis that they need to learn in a certain way — like from books — but that is overlooking just how much childrens toys play a part in that learning. So encourage your kids to get out there and have fun! They’ll learn without even realizing it.