What is Play?
Playing is the act of engaging in recreational activities such as sports, rope jumping, running, hide and seek, etc.
Play is defined as any activity that is engaged in for the purposes of amusement or recreation. In this way, play is often opposed to work, where activities are done to meet a specific goal, or to gain money.
There are many types of play. Sports like soccer and basketball are types of play, but so are chess, playing fetch with your dog and a whole host of other types of activity.
Playing helps people to see the bright side of life. It incites us to let loose a bit and move away from the responsibilities of life.
We can also be playful in the way that we speak and interact with others. We can make jokes or simply make observations that are not intended to be taken seriously.
Why is Play Important?
The following reasons will help us understand why playing is an important part of our life.
1. Health & Physical development.
Physical types of play (such as sports, or simply running around with our friends in the park) helps to keep us strong and healthy. When exercise is fun, we are more likely to feel motivated to exercise. In this way, play helps us to gain body fitness in an enjoyable way.
While playing, children use their bodies hence developing their fine and gross motor skills as well as strength and muscle.
Physical development is achieved through play activities such as drawing, climbing trees, jumping, stretching among others. Children who play during their free time become physically active and discover their abilities.
2. Reduces stress levels and promotes good mental health.
During play, the body is triggered to produce endorphin which make the body feel good naturally. These chemicals temporarily relieve pain and bring about a general sense of well-being.
Physical fitness helps us to stay mentally fit and healthy too. The onrush of positivity that we feel when we play is due to the chemicals released in the brain by physical exertion.
Play is entertaining. It brings fun and laughter to life and breaks up the monotony of work. It could be said that when you play you forget the world for a moment – in a good way.
It enhances our mood. The cheerfulness inherent in moments of play releases stress and gives us a happy feeling that makes us feel confident and positive about the world.
3. Brilliant kids.
Playtime involves children interacting with toys. When a child sorts his or her toys, he learns the shapes, colors, numbers, and sizes. When she plays with a truck set; she learns how the wheels work, and how to use tracks.
4. Refreshing the mind and soul.
Releasing ourselves from the stress and rigidity of the working day is so refreshing to the mind and soul. When we play, we feel our minds expand and our souls run free.
5. Playing helps us develop our socialization skills.
It is sociable. Playing with others helps to build social bonds. In fact, play could even be described as the informal ‘glue’ that holds a society together. Play mostly involves the interaction of two or more people, and it does not have to be a specific activity. While interacting, people get to know one another, make friends thus improving each other’s socialization skills.
6. Playing help kids become confident.
As a child learns new skills such as stacking toys, writing, climbing trees, riding a bicycle through play, they become confident in themselves. This way they understand to do more new things and even try new ones. They gain a sense of being in control of their actions.
7. We become more attentive and absorb much.
Playing is one of the most enjoyable and natural way for a child to learn how to concentrate and pay attention. It is not surprising to find a child so lost in play that he does not even hear you calling him. This focus is the same skill that he will need later on to listen to a lecture, write a term paper or take part in performing in concerts.
8. We learn more from the world through playing.
Children learn from the surrounding environment through play. They learn how to pick up things, walk and skip ropes, etc. They also develop spatial awareness and learn how to handle setbacks and disappointments.
9. Relationships become warmer.
Play can keep a relationship exciting and fresh. Even in times of disagreements, resentments and hurts, playing can be a tool to start joy in a relationship. As partners play regularly, they learn to trust each other and become more intimate.
10. We do better in the workplace.
Playing team sports teaches us vital skills that are transferable into the workplace too. We learn team building skills and learn how to achieve a team spirit. Sports teams work as a unit but also there is a division of responsibility, just like when you work together on a project in the office. Team captains, moreover, get to hone their leadership skills.
11. Play can become a career.
If we find ourselves getting really good at a sport that we play, we could even make a career for ourselves as a professional athlete.
12. Feel like young.
It brings us back to our childhood days. Stay connected to your inner child and play games. Never forget the innocent joy of play!
As one grows up, the urge to play gradually disappears. Fortunately, as you interact with children, they will ask you to play with them. In this way, you teach them what you used to do and you also end up picking new skills from them. This helps adults become young once again.
Conclusion: Play is definitely fun, but there is a lot more to it than that. Play is great for our mental and physical fitness, and it can also provide us with handy skills that we can use in our working lives too.
Playing is the only avenue we get to exercise our bodies by doing what we like. Despite the tight schedules of adult life, we should strive to engage in playful activities once in a while.