How Kids Benefit From Active Play During the School Year

How Kids Benefit From Active Play During the School Year

July 2022

We’re not sure how it’s possible, but the new school year is quickly approaching. While “buy new school clothes, supplies, and backpacks” and “attend open houses” may be on your to-do list, you might also consider adding “find more active play opportunities,” the benefits of which will increase your child’s learning throughout the school year. 

It’s no secret that kids of all ages love to play, but there’s WAY more to play than just having fun. Active play is essential to a child’s development because it contributes to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. 

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children ages 3 through 5 years should be physically active throughout the entire day to enhance growth and development, and children ages 6+ should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. It’s important to provide and encourage participation in physical activities that are both age-appropriate and enjoyable. 

Benefits of Active Play During the School Year:

Boosts Healthy Brain Development

  • Play allows children to use their creativity while also developing their curiosity, emotional strength, and imagination.
  • As parents, we like to choose the type of play we provide for our children. However, when play is occasionally child-driven, children are able to move at their own pace, practice decision-making, and discover their own interests and passions.
  • Structured group play boosts children’s confidence and self-esteem. Both organized physical activity and child-inspired fun are essential for positive mental health and general well-being.

Improves Social Skills

  • Childhood friendships serve as building blocks for emotional development. They create a sense of belonging, reduce stress, and increase the ability to adjust to changes within a child’s environment.
  • Unstructured play with a group of kids teaches children how to work together, share, negotiate, and resolve conflicts.

Better Academic Performance

  • Active play goes hand in hand with academic performance. It has been shown to help children adjust to the new class environment, and it improves learning behaviors, problem-solving skills, and general school readiness.
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