Free Play in Preschool: Why Is It Necessary?

When we think of a young child’s education, we usually think of learning how to read and write, and the basics that they’ll need to master as they advance through the educational system. Play, on the other hand, might seem like a nice extra – a chance for a child to enjoy some time off from work, perhaps, but not necessarily important as an end in itself. The more research educators do, however, the more it becomes clear that the act of play is invaluable in advancing a preschooler’s education. If you’re considering enrolling your own young boy or girl in childcare in Spring Hill, TN, here’s why free play needs to be an integral part of your child’s experience.

Intellectual Development

Free play is fun, of course, but it does far more than provide some pleasant diversions for a child. In fact, it’s vital in the development of creative thinking, content knowledge, and executive function skills. Every time a child plays with blocks or draws with a crayon, they’re creating and analyzing patterns. While they talk with other children developing rules and stories, they’re improving and growing their vocabulary. Research has shown that construction play is especially conducive to building mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Social Development

When you enroll your child in a preschool in Spring Hill, TN, you’re giving them the opportunity to learn and grow with children of the same age. As they learn to play with others, they’ll become more aware of social cues, and they’ll develop the ability to understand another person’s perspective. As they learn the elements of empathy, they’ll become increasingly comfortable with sharing their feelings and ideas with others as they discover how to negotiate and make compromises with their classmates.

Emotional Development

Preschool is often a child’s first exposure to the limits that society will impose on them. When they play with others in a controlled environment, they’ll learn how to deal with feelings such as anticipation and frustration. For the first time, perhaps, they’ll have to develop techniques to self-regulate their emotions so they can get along with their playmates as they learn when to lead and when to follow in determining the type of play that they’re to engage in.

Physical Development

In many cases, preschool is a child’s first opportunity to engage in physical activities with children their own age. In addition to indoor play such as playing with toys and building blocks, the best providers of childcare in Spring Hill, TN, will also emphasize the advantages that are to be gained through physical outdoor play. The origins of a child’s development of their muscles, coordination, flexibility, and reflexes are in the sports, dance, and games they’ll explore for the first time in preschool. Furthermore, engaging in competitive physical activities during childcare can act as an introduction to the notion of fair play and can be instructive on how to best process winning and losing.

Preschool Girl Playing with Playdoh in Spring Hill, tn

THE Children’s Academy understands the importance that free play has in the development of young children. If you’d like to enroll your child – or if you have any questions about our preschools in Spring Hill, TN – contact us at (615) 302-0950.

We have another convenient location in Franklin, TN, at (615) 790-2273.