When we think back to our childhood, memories of playtime with friends and family members often come to mind. For children, free play is when they have the freedom to play whatever they want in an unstructured environment. From cognitive to physical, free play offers several benefits to children. For this reason, your child’s day care center may encourage unstructured play from time to time.
As a provider of early childhood education in New Jersey, we will discuss how children benefit from free play:
- Free play teaches resiliency.
A child may feel upset when they lose a game of tag or when the last block they are stacking topples over. With free play, however, children learn to recover quickly from setbacks. This provides children with valuable learning experiences that promote healthy brain development. Through low-stakes situations that occur in free play, kids grow up to be more resilient and independent.
- Free play boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Unstructured play engages every part of a child’s being – including their mind, body, and soul. In doing so, kids can naturally explore their physicality and imagination while engaging in independent learning. This boosts their self-esteem and gives them the confidence to try new things.
- Free play reduces childhood anxiety and stress.
Stress is a normal occurrence at any stage in life, including our childhood. By having the opportunity to engage in free play, children can reduce stress and get rid of excess energy. Moreover, risk-taking activities without any serious consequences can reduce anxiety from a young age.