The Importance of Play in Childhood

Play as a human right

Did you know that play is essential for child development? Play is an ideal tool for communication, learning, and knowledge. In fact, it is recognized as a human right.

Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states “the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

Advantages of play for comprehensive well-being

Play offers various benefits for comprehensive well-being. Some of them are:

  • Encourages creativity and contributes to developing a healthy brain, which is the source of curiosity and innovation.
  • Prevents diseases by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, two physical factors currently affecting the lifestyle carried out in many parts of the world.
  • Facilitates interaction with the environment, helping to understand it in all its magnitude.
  • Promotes social skills that can later be vital for good performance in the community.
  • Improves affective relationships, allowing you to identify feelings, moods, and emotions towards those around you.

Play as a tool to promote values

Childhood is a time of numerous changes in social and emotional development. Therefore, play plays a critical role as it allows us to reflect on our actions, as well as on the norms and ethical values of the culture we are immersed in. Some of the values ​​that are important to consider are:

  • Respect: towards all people and nature.
  • Empathy: understanding others and being supportive.
  • Responsibility: taking care of the environment and making conscious decisions.
  • Solidarity: working as a team and valuing diversity.
  • Tolerance: accepting differences and promoting inclusion.

Let’s play together!

Game 1: My First Garden at Home – Taking Care of the Earth

In this family game, children will learn about environmental care and take on responsibilities by creating their garden. Follow these five steps:

Step 1: On a piece of paper, design as a family your home garden with different cultivable elements.

Step 2: Gather compost and select various fruits and vegetables seeds; you can even use the seeds from the fruits you eat at home.

Step 3: Create the garden. You don’t need a big garden. You can use a fruit box, small pots, or wicker baskets.

Step 4: Plant the seeds and organize the initial sprouts. Establish care routines to learn the value of patience and responsibility while observing the plant’s growth.

Step 5: In a notebook, make a list of thoughts where you reflect together on the importance of caring for plants, flowers, and fruits. Also, discuss how a home garden contributes to caring for the environment.

Game 2: Diversity Collage – Exploring World Cultures

Promote inclusion and tolerance with this family game that celebrates cultural diversity around the world. Follow these five steps:

Step 1: Gather materials such as cardboard, scissors, glue, magazines, and different types of textured paper.

Step 2: Find images of people from different countries, traditions, customs, with various skin tones, and engaged in diverse activities.

Step 3: Cut and paste all the elements on the cardboard. You can also add your own drawings on top for a creative and personal touch.

Step 4: Contemplate the final result and reflect on the beauty of cultural diversity, how each individual brings something unique and valuable to the world.

Step 5: Finally, place the collage in a space you like to be inspired by what you learned from this game, whether it’s framed, on the refrigerator, or in a family album.