How social playtime activities can benefit children’s development

Childhood is a key time for developing lifelong skills and abilities. One area that really helps children to learn and develop new skills is social playtime. Social playtime can include a wide range of activities from team sports to role play; it covers anything that requires children to work together to play. Social playtime helps children to learn and develop many skills that will be vital as they become adults and which will be beneficial throughout their lives. Here are some of the key ways social playtime helps children develop:

Improves social skills

Having strong social skills will help children succeed in many areas from academics to sports and is something that will be hugely beneficial as they grow up. Taking part in social activities during playtime is a great way to help children to improve their social skills as it enables them to build these skills in a fun and relaxed environment. Children who regularly play with other children learn how to work together, solve arguments amongst themselves and establish friendships.

Builds confidence

Social playtime helps to build confidence in children. Often when children play together there is less on-hand adult supervision, which means that children cannot rely on an adult to tell them what to do and instead they have to organise themselves. This means children need to gain the confidence to take leadership roles, voice their opinions and think independently.

Develops emotional intelligence

Having emotional intelligence is now often considered as equally important as having academic intelligence. Emotion intelligence is the key to forming good relationships with others, which is vital for both personal and professional success. Social playtime helps to develop emotional intelligence as it teaches children vital soft skills that are essential for emotional intelligence, such as how to communicate effectively, negotiate and work together as a team.

Encourages teamwork

While some children naturally work well within a team, for others it is a skill that they need to learn and develop. Social playtime, especially team sports, is a great way of encouraging children to learn and develop the skills needed to work well as part of a team. These types of social play activities encourage children to learn how to lead, support and work with their teammates so that they can all work together to achieve a specific goal or overcome a challenge.

Introduces concept of friendly competition

Along with learning to work as part of a team, social playtime can also teach children about the concept of friendly competition. It is important for children to learn how to deal with competition, especially if they are not naturally competitive, as it is something they will encounter throughout their personal and professional lives. As well a this it is also important for children to learn how to lose or fail at something without it impacting their long-term confidence, along with learning how to win gracefully.