This is why playing is so important for children!

Dit is waarom spelen zo belangrijk is voor kinderen!

We often don't think much about it or pay attention to it, but did you know that playing is incredibly important for children? In this article, you'll learn all about playing for children and how you as a parent can encourage your child to play more.


Playing is important: here's why

Playing and learning to play is essential for your child's upbringing. Not only do children develop their motor skills while playing, such as hopping, playing tag, or climbing on the jungle gym, but their social skills are also honed during playtime.

Some examples of these social skills include:

  • Sharing toys with others
  • Dealing with losing during a game
  • Explaining game rules to other children
  • Forming an opinion and discussing disagreements with others


What is the right age to start children playing?

The question of what age is right to let your child play is easily answered: the earlier, the better. Of course, this doesn't mean starting with a complex game right away; start small, with a set of building blocks or by letting your child play with stuffed animals, for example. When children are younger, from zero to two years old, they are still busy exploring the world around them. As they get older, playing with other children becomes more interesting. Usually, when children are three or four years old, they truly start to 'learn' to play.


Playing alone or with friends?

Some children are already extroverted at a young age and enjoy playing with other children. There are also children who prefer to wait and see, especially in the beginning they may have difficulty playing with others. This is nothing to worry about. It's important to let things take their course.


Arranging playdates with other children

Having friends over is of course a lot of fun! However, it's a good idea to let the children play by themselves. This way, they learn to develop their social skills faster - and sometimes it's just fun without mom or dad around. If there's an argument or disagreement between the children, you can intervene, but not too quickly. Resolving conflicts is also a social skill that children can learn through play!


Tips for children playing

Do you want your child to make the most out of their playtime? We have some tips that can help:

  • Initiate play. By starting to play yourself, you invite your child to join in.
  • Give compliments. When children play nicely together, it's a good idea to compliment them.
  • No means okay. If another child doesn't want to play with your child, it can be upsetting. However, it's good to teach your child to deal with this.
  • Don't be a referee. Sometimes children may argue while playing; let it happen. This way, they learn to resolve conflicts on their own. If things get out of hand, you can always intervene.
  • Let friends come over. We get it, sometimes you really don't want extra children around. However, it's good to let your child play as much as possible, both at home and at others' homes.

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