Importance of Play in Early Childhood

the importance of play in early childhood education

Play is one of the most important ways children learn and develop. The importance of play in early childhood has been studied and tested over the years. Learning through play is absolutely necessary and fun for children at this age as it supports their learning journey. Also, playing helps build a child’s own self-worth and a sense of their own abilities. Because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are playing. 

Furthermore, one can nurture a child’s imagination through play. Play gives children a sense of adventure and helping them develop several other skills like creativity, literacy, numeracy, sharing, solving problems, fine motor and gross motor skills, and social and emotional skills. 

Consequently, it is important to have indoor and outdoor activities for children to enjoy playing and learning in different environments. All of these examples show the importance of play in early childhood.

Examples of indoor/outdoor play activities in early childhood: 

  • Building blocks, stacking rings or cups, jigsaw puzzles, and shapes can help them recognize sizes, shapes, colors, and count. They develop a sense of logic by putting things in order. 
  • Playdough, coloring with crayons, and painting can help develop their sense of fine motor skills and creativity. Toddlers love to experiment with colors, they’ll enjoy painting by using a brush! 
  • Dressing up, and playing with puppets/dolls will help them with their social and emotional skills along with their ability to express emotions. 
  • Singing, and playing simple musical instruments help to develop rhythm, listening, and hearing.
  • Sand and water can be an early introduction to science and sensory learning. Children love to learn through their senses. 
  • Also, Bubbles and balls are enjoyed the most. Children this age love to chase things and grab them. This helps with their gross motor skills where they explore the environment of nature and build up their body movement, strength, flexibility, and coordination skills. 

In conclusion, anyone who spends any amount of time with young children understands that providing children with opportunities to play, provides children with so much more than just “fun”!  

This blog was created by Saba Pervez who is a current Child Development Associate (CDA) student with

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