When your child plays, either alone or with others, he/she is developing important speech and language skills as well as listening skills. If your child is playing alone, they will typically narrate their action or talk to themselves as they maneuver various toys.
During play time, children learn to work with others toward a shared goal. One child may lead play, but must learn to be perceptive of others’ needs. Through play, children learn to be assertive, negotiate, cooperate and share. This collaborative skill is important in developing social skills and building friendships.
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and sift through information in order to make sense of it and apply it in the context of the environment. This skill involves the part of the front part of the brain that manages attention, memory, control, and flexibility.
It’s particularly important for young children to have the chance to play and take risks without feeling that their parents will criticize or correct them for doing something wrong. This boosts their morals and teaches them self-confidence.
Creativity happens when your child’s critical thinking and skill development come together to produce something new or different. Pretending or imaginative play is one of the foundations of a child’s world and they begin demonstrating this skill around the age of 2.