Children have an innate urge to play from birth right through to teenage years. Freely chosen play is critically important for all children as part of their everyday lives and access to quality, unstructured play is known to help improve children and young people’s overall health, well-being and development.
During the early years of children’s lives parents are encouraged to play with their children; these early play experiences can help create a bond and attachment between parents and their children. Good play experiences will help children to develop many skills such as self-confidence, self-esteem, curiosity, independence, and resilience.
As children grow older they may not call free activity as playing but might prefer for it to be called hanging out or chilling out. It is critically important that adults remember to allow children and young people the time and space to ‘hang out or chill out’. It is during pre-teen/teenage years that children and young people seek greater independence away from their parents/ adults. Friends and friendship groups become very significant and healthy friendships are important.
For more information on how Play Matters visit https://bit.ly/2LjO0GM