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Easy Orange Creamsicle Cake

Remember when our mums used to say, “Go outside and play.” At the time it may have seemed dismissive, but in reality, play is such an important part of childhood development. It teaches our children how to use their imagination, get along with others and develop natural problem-solving skills.

All kids possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

Play enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them. They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child's play. Create stories with paper and crayon, walk in nature and observe birds, froggies and plants, take pictures and build a fort in the middle of the living room and go camping! What will you do to play today?

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