All children are naturally imaginative, and it is through active play that we first learn to use our imaginations to develop creative thinking, problem solving, and understanding of our world. When children first start to play with objects, even before language development, they are embarking upon a learning journey which will equip them with the key skills needed to thrive in early adulthood, and beyond.
As we grow older, we are taught to behave well, to adhere to the rules which we need in order to make and maintain friendships, and manage social situations. However, these rules – no matter how necessary – can be taxing for young children who may not always understand why they are important.
Any parent whose child has just started school will recognise the shift in behaviour that this can cause. As a child learns to navigate the new environment and behavioural expectations, they can at times come home and seem to be a completely different person than the one which they are during school hours. This behavioural shift is often a response to the pressures of conforming and intensive learning. Children who have an outlet for this, in the form of active play, are able to release the stress associated with the need to conform, in a secure and welcoming environment.
It’s common for parents with new school starters to voice concern that their child seems to have changed; their behaviour at home may deteriorate, even while teachers report that the child is happy and thriving in the new classroom environment. This is often because the child is learning to navigate the new code of behaviour, and needs to be given space to push boundaries again when they are at home, and feel comfortable in flexing rules and expressing themselves.
As a result, all children need a safe, stimulating and creative outlet to nurture their imagination, and allow them to ‘let off steam’ from time to time. Active play centres are the ideal space to enable this to happen. By giving children a safe place to explore new sights, sounds and shapes, and providing them with the freedom to play with fewer rules and restrictions, we support them to develop key skills for later life.
Active play sessions also empower young children by nurturing their imagination, allowing them to work off excess energy and enjoy quality play time. This then supports each young person to attend school and maintain their good behaviour, because they’ve been given time out to explore and play without being asked to limit their creativity. The most well-adjusted children are those who have the perfect balance of rules and free play, equipping them with those fundamental life skills which we carry with us into adulthood.
Empower, stimulate and encourage your children with active play at Little Giggles today.