Do your kids LOVE open play sessions at your local playground or indoor play place?
For most of you, the answer is a resounding YES! Kids love to run around, climb, jump and play. BUT did you know about all the amazing developmental benefits of this type of play?
When kids attend open play sessions at places such as The Little Gym, Kidville, Gymboree and more, they are exposed to new people, ideas and experiences. As they play, they are learning and developing new skills that will help them grow into amazing children and productive teens and adults.
Here are 10 Benefits of Open Play:
Make New Friends: During open play sessions kids often get to interact with kids they have never met. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
Increases Social Awareness: Playing with kids other than siblings allows children to learn more about social acceptance and boundaries. It helps them increase their understanding of turn taking and sharing as well. Kids learn through peer modeling so open play with same-aged and older peers will also help children develop their language and social skills.
Enhances Gross Motor Skills: Open play often involves running, jumping, climbing and swinging. Each task builds muscle strength and enhances coordination.
Increases Confidence: As kids make new friends on their own, they become more confident in themselves. Confidence also arises when kids successfully complete a new skill or activity.
Exposure to New Situations and Experiences: During open play sessions, kids often encounter social and motor based situations that they have not yet experienced. This helps them develop thinking, reasoning, planning and problem solving skills. Exposure to new ideas and experiences also increases language development and overall knowledge.
Increases Independence: Open play allows kids to make their own choices and decisions. They can choose which toy to play with and how many times they want to climb the ladder to go down the slide. This allows them to discover likes and dislikes as well as engage in thinking and problem solving.
Encourages Pretend and Imaginary Play: Are they pirates looking for treasure, super heroes chasing bad guys or astronauts flying to space? No matter what the story is, kids are enhancing their creative thinking and story telling skills which will be very useful in school!
Great Exercise: Open play provides the opportunity to get physical activity which leads to a healthy lifestyle.
Allows for Mom Time! While the kids play, mom can rest, well at least a little. Adult supervision is usually provided by the staff at the indoor play place so this gives parents some time to sit. I know that sounds funny, but there are days when as a mom, I don’t even have time to sit for a few minutes. Open play sessions also give parents the opportunity to meet other parents and develop a support system.
What is your favorite place for open play?
My kids love Kidville, Monkeydoodles Playroom, Giggles Playstation and Pump It Up! Tell me your favorite places in the comment section below!
Have fun letting your kids run, jump and play!!