Children have never been known for their self-control. That kind of discipline is something that comes with age, so young children seem to believe that they can have or do whatever they want. This can of course be a problem, one that parents and teachers struggle to keep under control sometimes. Children do learn self-control, and in most cases they learn it on their own. Yes, lessons from their parents and teachers do help, but like other important lessons and social skills, children learn self-control through play.
Learning Through Play
In many ways, playtime is every bit as effective in teaching children lessons and social skills as their time in the classroom. Playtime is when children interact with each other, and in the process they learn how to get along with their peers and how to solve problems. They make up their own games complete with their own rules, and they learn that following those rules can be just as rewarding as simply doing whatever they want. They also learn a little bit about how things around them work by experimenting and using their imaginations as they play. Amazingly, they do this mostly on their own with little intervention from adults.
While children learn many social skills from unstructured play, they can also benefit from more structured games as well. For example, everyone across the country has probably played Simon Says. That game basically amounts to everyone doing everything that one person says, unless of course they don’t say “Simon says.” Children who are playing Simon Says might be having fun doing all the goofy things that “Simon” tells them to do, but they also have to pay attention and know when not to act. Children may think they’re just playing a fun game with their friends, but they are also learning important lessons about self-control in the process.
Structure and Playgrounds
As important as games and other kinds of structured play is for helping children develop self-control, they can also benefit from unstructured play on outdoor or indoor playgrounds. Playgrounds are fun places for kids because they stimulate their imaginations. They provide what becomes a bare-bones structure for any kind of game they can imagine. A piece of playground equipment can become anything a child wants it to be, but an indoor kids play area or playground provides just enough of a boundary that kids learn what they should and should not do as they play their games. Playing on a playground is still largely unstructured, but it can also teach children important rules, even if they have to discover those rules on their own.
Whether children are allowed to do whatever they want during play time on an indoor playground or they play more structured games, they will be learning important skills and lessons. Spending time in the classroom with a teacher is important, but playing with friends during recess or after school should never be ignored.
Children have always learned through play, so we should always let them play. Give your child a day to remember with a trip to Kid Junction, Chantilly’s best indoor playground. With tons to play and explore, your child will love the indoor play areas and interactive games at Kid Junction. Let your child’s imagination run free and take a trip to Kid Junction today!