The power of play

Play is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. It is crucial for a child’s enjoyment of life but also promotes a child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.

Josh and his siblings play with a water pistol.
  Today, Wednesday 3rd August 2016, is National Play Day and events are taking place across the country to highlight the importance of play in children’s lives.  It’s also a chance to campaign on some of the issues which affect children’s play.    


Shakeerah, three, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2013. After multiple surgeries including having a shunt fitted, many months of chemotherapy and spending almost two years in hospital, Shakeerah moved to The Children’s Trust - a brain injury rehabilitation centre. Just two months into her treatment, she is doing well and making great progress and is enjoying playing with the wide variety of toys available to her.  Shakeerah communicates in Makaton. Play specialists at The Children’s Trust have been working with her to sign nursery rhymes to help aid her communication and social skills. Shakeerah also enjoys wooden puzzles which help with her gross and fine motor skills and to learn numbers.
Shakeerah playing with bubbles
Shakeerah playing with bubbles


Give it a try: special playtimes

Play therapist Jan Vance
Jan Vance
Another way to use play to benefit your child is to create ‘special playtimes’.  To create ‘special playtime’ allocate 30 minutes each day to give your child your full attention and follow your child’s lead in play. By doing this you can help your child regulate their emotions and develop their understanding and skills. We have a fantastic blog by play therapist ‘Jan Vance’ which walks you through how to create these special times with your child and the huge benefits they can provide.
The aim is for the child not to feel they are following what you want them to do but that you simply enjoying being their play partner.  The hope is that they will get a surge of self-esteem, and feel valued for the ‘fascinating little person that they are’ – not because they have built a tower of bricks to your specification."Jan Vance
  • Visit the Play Day Website to find out more about Play Day and the events happening near you.
  • If you are looking for ideas for play activities why not visit our Pinterest page?
  • You can find more information about play therapist Jan Vance here.
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