Play: More Than Just ‘Back in the Day’ Memories

Admit it, when you get together with your childhood friends, there comes the point in the conversation where you all crack up laughing over some silly game you invented ‘back in the day’. Whether that was your nonsensical variation on cops and robbers, or the utterly ridiculous dressing-up outfits, or perhaps making each other hundreds of friendship bracelets, we all look back on these memories of spontaneous fun with nostalgia.

But did you know that these moments of running, laughing and, yes, even arguing over who gets to be cop, were actually shaping you into a well-rounded adult?

It’s true! Science has proven that free play, the type of play where children self-direct, deciding what to do and how to do it, has a myriad of benefits. Kids who engage in this kind of fun are working on their socialization skills, learning how to empathize, and even figuring out how to resolve conflicts among a group. The idea is that when children are allowed to take the helm, they will step into a role of leadership, figuring out how to teach their peers the rules of a game while keeping the peace within a group of different personalities.

That’s not all, either; there are countless reasons as to how play enables our kids to develop necessary life skills. WeTheParents has put together a comprehensive infographic detailing the numerous benefits, and the science behind them, of child-led play.

So the next time you watch your kiddo playing and think that one day, she is going to have a great story to look back on with her friends, remember that she is also building herself into a more well-rounded, happy, and fulfilled person, one game at a time.

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