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6 Reasons Play Is Important to Young Children's Development

If adults have to work, children have to play. It’s a critical aspect of their development where they perform and experience tasks that require mental and physical effort.

It’s also through play that children learn things about the world around them, their relationships with peers, and themselves. As every child is unique, so is the way they play. Their games and methods can vary depending on the child’s age and interest. 

Children can be satisfied playing alone or with others. There may also be instances when your child plays rambunctiously while there are times when your child might prefer a relaxing activity. Regardless of how your child likes to play, they must get the opportunity to do so. When your child starts school, try to find one that offers holistic education, an educational institution with a program for kindergarten Bukit Timah parents trust.

Apart from your child’s way of learning, play has many different benefits. If you want to learn more about them and how they can impact your children’s future, here are a few examples.

Play Enhances Children’s Fitness

Children enjoy being active, which is why they like engaging in any type of play that encourages them to move. Apart from the fun time, active play lets your child learn to use their bodies.

It also helps them to stay fit and healthy. Additionally, physical play can improve gross motor skills that are likely to involve plenty of your child’s energy, stamina, and flexibility.

Some of the physical play children can engage in include running, jumping, riding the bicycle, climbing trees, swimming, and dancing. When encouraging such activities, however, remember to keep your children safe. For example, make sure they wear helmets when biking, and supervise them while they are swimming.

Play Promotes Emotional Growth

Play is a great way for children to process their emotions, either through new concepts or activities. When they lose in a game, for example, children may feel certain emotions like sadness and anger. Once they become aware of such emotions, children usually find ways to process them.

If they need help understanding their emotions, you can guide them through by asking them questions and letting them verbalise what they’re feeling. In addition, play can build children's confidence.

Once they accomplish a task, like jumping rope 10 times, children learn more about their capabilities. They can be happy and proud, achieving something they thought they couldn’t. 

Play Enhances Their Social Skills

Aside from your child’s fitness and emotions, play can also help develop their social skills. Through games and other play activities, children learn how to interact with others.

They become more aware of social expectations and rules. Also, playing provides opportunities for children to share their ideas, listen to others, and learn to compromise.

Play Supports Children’s Cognitive Development

Another reason why play is essential to young children is that it supports their cognitive development. Play allows children to promote their critical thinking skills, helping them understand cause and effect.

If, for example, they are tossing a ball, they may notice that the amount of force they put towards throwing can affect how far the toy can go. 

Additionally, play lets children explore the world. When they climb trees or play in the yard, their natural curiosity leads them to discover what things are and how they work. This innate sense of exploration is one of the foundations of cognitive processing.

Play Encourages Creativity

Young children expand their imaginations and creativity while playing. One excellent example of creative play is make-believe or pretend games. Children would act out different scenarios and characters, which can change their perspectives and enhance their communication skills.

Where to go: Best 19 Playgrounds for your child

During these games, children also make up their own rules and learn how to adapt them as needed.

Sometimes, children also do symbolic play. This is when they imagine one object’s use for another. For example, they might use a stick and bucket as a cooking spoon and pot. This kind of play can contribute to their problem-solving skills, which is essential for development.

Play Allows Children to Become Independent

Often, children have little control over their daily schedules. Their parents or guardians will often direct their activities whether it’s eating, going to school, or taking a nap.

When they’re playing, young children can set rules and manage the game as they see fit. If they’re playing with adults, they can lead the activity and instruct their playmates how to play, helping boost their confidence.

As much as children learn to play with others, playing alone or engaging in solitary play is just as important. It allows them to develop a stronger sense of independence. When children become comfortable with solitary play, they feel more confident in tackling tasks and figuring things out on their own. 

Check out the top 14 Playgroups in Singapore for your child


Play is more than just a fun time for young children, it can also impact their development. Considering the different reasons mentioned above about play’s role in your child’s overall development, encourage them to play whenever they can.

Whether it’s indoors, outdoors, with others, or on their own, keep playtime a daily part of your young child’s life.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.