Play activities help children create, explore, solve, and imagine—which helps their brain develop, builds important creative thinking and problem-solving skills, and contributes to emotional well-being. For example:
Play activities get children up and running around, developing motor skills and coordination, and building healthy bodies, and habits, for life.
- Physical play contributes to the development of gross motor skills, control, coordination, and strength.
- Healthy lifestyle habits formed through play, including physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and the related risks of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, joint problems, and social and psychological problems.
- Analysis based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health (2007) indicate that children without neighborhood access to parks or playgrounds are 26 percent more likely to be obese and 23 percent more likely to be overweight than children with neighborhood access to parks or playgrounds.
Play brings friends together and families together, teaching kids how to interact as part of a group, resolving conflicts, and strengthening bonds.
- Play helps kids forge strong connections with one another, through learning how to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and develop self-advocacy skills.
- Research with Foresters™, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that the more time a family spends together at a community playground, the greater its sense of family well-being in terms of strong relationships, quality health, and time spent together.