When your child starts to develop an interest in other children, it’s an excellent opportunity to introduce them and have fun. Having your child spend time with other kids has numerous benefits that can help them in the long run. Not only will they find common ground with other children, but they should also learn how to respect their peers while having a good time.
Playtime is a spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, fun, amusement, and entertainment. Having your children spend time with other kids has numerous benefits. Some include developing social skills to learning how to share. So, here are several reasons parents should encourage play in children and how to get them to socialize. Before you know it, your little one’s social group will quickly grow.
Children and Socialization
Socialization is defined as how social and cultural continuity are attained through various forms. There are two kinds of socialization: primary and secondary. Primary socialization focuses on accepting and learning a set of norms and values established through speaking to peers. Children learn about values, attitudes, and actions deemed appropriate to others in particular cultures, mainly through immediate friends and family.
Secondary socialization comes from understanding appropriate behavior in a small group within a large society. In short, its behavior patterns are reinforced by socializing experiences. It mostly takes place outside of the home, where children and adults learn how to act in various situations. A significant example is schools, where children are surrounded by professional adults who teach them skills and need their attention.
Social development occurs as your child grows. It’s a significant part of their overall health, well-being, and happiness, creating bonds with other children and learning about them. There are multiple stages in childhood development where socialization occurs. Sharing toys and taking turns occurs as early as three or four years old when a child’s sense of confidence begins to form.
When your child enters preschool or kindergarten at ages four or five, your child will be more aware of their interests and personality. At this stage, it’s an excellent time to encourage play with other children. They’ll develop friendships with other kids, compare themselves to peers, understand others’ thoughts and feelings, initiate playtime with other kids, and show an understanding of right and wrong.
Reasons To Encourage Children’s Play
There are numerous reasons to encourage play in children. Besides learning to use their imagination and foster curiosity, it also helps kids develop a sense of self and sharpen their skills for lifelong learning. A few ways to improve playtime include:
- Allowing a 1-hour minimum of unstructured playtime
- Limit media time to 1-2 hours
- Establish a “screen-free zone” for undistracted play
- Encourage their imaginations through toys
By adjusting the way your child plays, they’ll feel more fulfilled in their playtime. Additionally, it will help pull them away from having too much screen time with tablets, phones, and televisions.
Improves Planning and Organizing Abilities
When your child wants to see their friends, they will make an effort to spend time with them and learn how to plan a fun day. For example, your child and their friends all want to have a slumber party. Encourage them to help you plan what activities you like, what snacks to offer, which movies to watch, and how late they want to stay up.
Children learn planning and organization habits through other people, especially other kids. Learning how to clean up, volunteer to help others, and make plans are excellent habits to obtain at a young age.
Helps Regulate Their Emotions
Playtime can quickly become an overwhelming, overstimulating experience for young children. It’s especially true when roughhousing, pretend sword fighting, and other physical activities in which many rules come into play.
At some point, your child might get frustrated with how another child might not follow the rules, accidentally hurt them, or say something that hurts their feelings. Socialization teaches your child to navigate their feelings and learn to vocalize how they feel. Teaching your child to calm themselves down, explain why they think the way they do, and return to having fun will help them in the future.
Enhances Flexible Thinking and Problem-Solving
Having your child spend time playing or socializing with other kids helps them learn about themselves. As your children grow, problem-solving and flexible thinking become an everyday part of their lives. The definition of flexible thinking is when children can think about something differently.
For example, maybe your child is in math class and is struggling to learn about different equations. Having a “cheat sheet” helps connect words and phrases in math problems to help them get from the beginning of the problem and discover the solution. With playtime, their brains naturally figure out how to change stories on a whim, tackle a new way to play with a toy, or solve a puzzle.
Develops Math, Language, and Social Skills
When your little one enters childhood education, they learn new skills and abilities that will help them in the future. Along with learning how to count to ten, they also learn about geography, history, physical activity, and socializing during lunchtime.
When kids learn to socialize and play, it can help with developing language, math, and social skills. Learning how to track time comes from playing hide and seek, language is learned through communication with other children, and social skills develop as children spend time together.
Manages Stress and Keeps Them Active
An excellent part of playtime is that it keeps your children active and manages their stress. After attending school, doing chores, and other miscellaneous activities, getting your children outside and spending time with other kids reduces the risk of obesity and onset problems due to stress. Activities such as bike riding, skateboarding, rollerblading, playing tag, hide and seek, and sports can benefit your child significantly. They’ll tell you everything they did and develop a healthy sleep schedule.
Watching your children grow and share their lives with other kids can feel heartwarming. Encourage them to share with friends with us at Little Obsessed. We offer mini toys and activities to help your children communicate and have fun with their friends. Whether they need a gift for a birthday party or want to show their friends how much they care, our catalog provides options from miniature building blocks to art supplies. If you have any questions about our products, reach out to us today.