Children play because it is fun, however, when they’re engaged in play children develop life skills without even realising it. Here are some of the many benefits of playing with your children.
- Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It helps to strengthen and refine motor skills as well as build stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play. Play is significant to physical development, without it the body could not grow and develop normally.
- Playing encourages and develops children’s literacy skills as well as improving their communication skills. Through play, children strengthen their ability to interact with their peers. These social skills include sharing, taking turns, conversing and being able to stay with a play theme.
- When your child engages in physical play, they are strengthening their coordination. They might do this by climbing, kicking, running, balancing, or jumping. Play also gives children the self-esteem and self-confidence they need to build relationships, understand concepts and make sense of the world around them.
- Whilst playing, children often use make believe items or use items for a completely different use, this promotes a healthy imagination. Having a healthy imagination is good for their school work as it will help them create and write stories.
At ELF we now offer a brand new selection of school play equipment, ideal for use in schools, pre-schools and nurseries.
Children's Dressing Up
Many children love dressing up. It is good for a child’s mind, as it allows them to get into the role of a character and act like them. This enhances the growth of their imagination.
Our Bubblegum dressing up cupboard is a creative and fun storage cupboard designed for use in schools, pre-schools and nurseries to encourage and promote creative play in early years. It features a full length mirror, hanging rails for outfits, pegs for accessories and trays for hats and shoes.
Our stage school dressing up trolley features a ‘front stage’ and ‘backstage’ area complete with two mirrors, three large dry wipe surfaces and a chalkboard panel. The two hanging rails and storage box provide plenty of storage for your school or nursery fancy dress outfits and props.
The uniquely designed trolley opens out to create a dry wipe stage area allowing children to put on performances on their own or in groups to the whole class. The dry wipe backdrop is also great for getting kids involved with reading.
Children’s Imaginative Play
Whether playing with a real friend or an imaginary character, pretend play requires children to look outside of their own needs and desires. It helps children learn compassion, empathy, and understanding. Outgoing children learn the proper boundaries of interaction through modelling, and shy children get to practice social interaction within their comfort zone.
Here at ELF we provide a wide range of role play panels that can be linked together to form a play area. We offer different bundles of our bestselling role play panels, these create home, creative, shop, lifestyle, professions and theatre settings. Children will love playing with our play panels and acting as shop keepers, doctors and lots of different things.
School Home Corner
The home corner supports both individual and cooperative play. Many children spend a considerable amount of time in the home corner doing things like, stirring, filling, emptying, pouring, shaking, mixing and rolling. They may imitate cooking sequences they have seen at home or pretend to wash up. By providing a setting for role play, the home corner allows children to make sense of their immediate world. Children have numerous opportunities to work together, express their feelings and use language to communicate roles and respond to one another’s needs and requests.
The modular kitchen kit four is our largest play kitchen system and includes a cooker with a hob, washer, sink, microwave unit and two fridge/cupboard units. The kit is also designed specifically with education in mind so is the ideal addition to any school or nurseries home corner area and activity area.
The Roll Unfold kitchen is available in two sizes and is the perfect solution for creating a group role play and home corner area where space is limited. The kitchen can easily be folded into each other and easily wheeled away after use for storage.
Both the large and small versions include a cooker with hob, washing machine and sink. The oven and washer doors are red with a Perspex panel with printed details.
Children’s Physical Play
Physical play is a really important factor of play because it builds up children’s strength, helps them stay active and prevents them from becoming overweight. There are so many different activities that you can set up at home for your children to enjoy. Our SeaWeenies Water Tray & Toy Pack Bundle includes the tray with palm tree toy and the SeaWeenies toy pack which includes Stella the starfish water wheel, Ollie the wobbly octopus, Toby the tippy turtle and the Finn family fishing set.
Multiple trays are able to stand side by side due to the shape which allows for group physical play. The bundle is designed with early education in mind and teaches children mathematics, weights and balance and also helps them to develop their motor skills in a fun way. It is also perfect for use with water or sand.
The multi award winning Zoomsters feature durable multi-directional castors that allow them to move in all directions with minimum effort. They have chunky, easy-grip handle bars and a comfy seat that is the ideal height for children between 18 months and 3 years of age. All Zoomsters feature a useful storage space under the seat, allowing children to carry their favourite toys and books as they play with the Zoomster.
The Zoomster comes in 6 different designs, Bunny, Fire Engine, Natural, Police Car, Racer and Truck – so there is something to suit all imaginations.
When playing with children it is less about what you do and more about the way you do it. Here are some useful dos and don’ts to get you thinking about ways to play with your kids indoors:
- Do give them the chance to choose what games to play and how they play them. Forcing them to do something doesn’t make play-time much fun!
- Don’t solve every task for your child. You should encourage them to solve problems on their own.
- Do remember that all children are different. Some like physical play, some love word games, some like to perform and some love arts and crafts. Think about the kinds of activities your child likes and let them take the lead.
- Don’t be a competitive mum or dad. Learning how to lose is an important social skill for a child, try to keep games enjoyable and let them win from time to time.
- Don’t be afraid to join in with make believe games. Children love it when their parents get involved.
- Do let kids teach you how to play with their toys. They will take great pleasure in telling you what to do.
- Do share a game you used to play as a child. Think of the things you most enjoyed, the chances are your kids will enjoy them just as much.
- Do enjoy playing. If your child is having fun but you aren’t, just leave them to it. If they’re not having fun, suggest something else.
Play should always be fun, interesting and stimulating to avoid losing a child’s attention or interest. It should also be encouraging, active and involve new activities that will stimulate their minds. This will set your child up to be content, loving and sociable which are all important skills needed for the rest of their school lives.
We are UK suppliers of educational furniture predominantly for the early years' age groups in primary schools, pre-schools, playgroups and nurseries. Here at Early Learning Furniture we pride ourselves on offering great value, quality products backed up by a reliable and flexible service.
For more information on any of our early learning products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511121.