The Importance of Playtime for Toddlers

Playtime is very important to kids is it aids in their development and growth. For most of a child’s days for the first 10 plus years of their lives, they will be playing. Prepare for this by getting them proper play clothes and shoes like Handcrafted Playtime Shoes that can last through severy play times such is running and jumping without giving in to wear and tear easily.

In order for a child to grow up to be confident, co-operative, intelligent, and creative amongst other things then you must incorporate playtime into their lives. For a toddler, playtime is just as important is learning or education because it is a time for them to explore their environments, develop their skills, and discover what their interests are. Playtime lets your child discover what they like and then explore it on their own times.

A lot of times parent try to stir their kids away from playing and exploring and have them focus on structured learning. Though it is important for parents to support their kids, it should not be overdone that it disrupts their natural path. Parents should leave room for improvisation and exploration instead of having structured playtime all the time. Also, reduce the time they spend in front of the TV or with their electronic devices.

By robbing kids of ample time for imagination, exploration, and collaborative invention, you are taking away essential opportunities for them to develop the skills required for real achievement and fulfillment over time. There is a lot of evidence demonstrating the importance of playtime in kids’ lives and many pediatricians and psychologists attest to it.

“Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Psychologist Peter Gray wrote, “Play deprivation is bad for children. Among other things, it promotes anxiety, depression, suicide, narcissism, and loss of creativity.” Parenting writer Katie Hurley wrote, “Through play, children learn to master their fears, assert their needs, process and cope with their emotions, and learn to get along with others.” Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison

Preserving Playtime

Below are the ways you can preserve your child’s playtime to make sure you are not interrupting too much and ruining their personal developmental structure.

  • Let your child choose one or two activities to do during their playtime. This will help them narrow down their interests. Many kids have lots of interests and having them choose will help them narrow down their interests even more. Then they can explore which two they choose to pursue for a period of time. Like taking piano and dance lessons during the winter and something outdoorsy during the summer.
  • When your child has chosen one or two main activities, this doesn’t mean they can’t explore more. Let them try other things casually as well. Like playing baseball in the park with other kids or basketball with friends or relatives behind the house.
  • The American Pediatric Association’s recommendation that children under two years of age should have NO screen time (mobile devices, computers, TV, video games). This can be hard to follow considering how much they dominate our lives. If you must expose them to screens and at least limit the amount of time.

  • Take your child out into nature. Let them explore and run around and explore the park, lake, woods, etc. Take them to community parks and gardens and let them enjoy nature.
  • The natural urge to explore kicks in when a child has enough time and space to become curious. Provide your kid with toys and play materials and let them choose what to play with. Make sure your children play area is safe for your child and then let them explore on their own. Let them make their own mistakes and learn from them.

Organizing the Playroom

Speaking of giving your child the space to play around, you can do this by organizing their playroom or play area in the house, the right way. Have an organizational method that your kid will be able to understand and do themselves. Get a system of containers or drawers or color coordinated containers for different toys and play items like books or legos. For example, you can get containers or boxes of different colors and sizes and label them with what goes in.

So, the small yellow box for legs, the big red box for teddy bears and dolls and the medium box for all books and board games. Kids love colors. You can use colors to separate each child’s toys. It is a simple way to handle the things that they play with most. When they are done playing, they can toss the toys, books, legos, crayons, and action figures into their bin and clean-up are done.

With time, your kid will be able to understand the system and will be able to clean up after themselves and keep their play area tidy. In addition to labeling, you can also use pictures to label the containers and keep the containers on the ground so it’s easy to reach. Make sure the lids are child-friendly and easy to open or close. Have a bowl to store crayons and markers. This will keep them in place instead of having them roll around and make a mess.