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Play and the Developmental Domains

As we've already discussed many times in this blog (because it's so important) play is an essential part of our children's healthy development.

During play, children are using all their senses and improving all of their developmental domains: social, physical, language, intellectual, creative and emotional.

Just look at what skills children are learning while 'just playing' at the playground:

  • Social skills: while playing with others, children start understanding social cues, learning to negotiate.

  • Physical skills: running, climbing, jumping, shoveling and dumping sand build strong muscles, body awareness, coordination.

  • Language skills: deciding on games, talking about how to play, asking questions.

  • Intellectual skills: sharing space and toys, solving problems, creating game rules.

  • Creative skills: through make believe play, singing, dancing.

  • Emotional skills: by negotiating, expressing and communicating emotions, practicing self-regulation.

So as you can see, the play is not just play! All the games and activities are vital to laying the foundation for our children’s future and formal education. The next time when someone asks, ‘What are your children doing all morning?’ and you answer, ‘they are just playing,” that answer will have a different value in it, and you will start noticing all the wonderful learning that is happening during the play.


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