Advice Column, Child, Recently, Toddler

Play helps children-and parents-talk about big issues

  • Parenting Hub
  • Category Advice Column, Child, Recently, Toddler

We love how children laugh while they play, and we marvel at their imagination and creativity as they have fun and make games out of whatever items they have in hand – but it’s worth remembering that play is a way to prepare children for the future, in so many ways.

According to the LEGO® 2022 Play Well Study*, 90% of South African parents agree that play has an important role in children’s development. Furthermore, 95% of parents believe that play helps children learn judgement and decision making, and 96% think it helps them be able to question and make up their own minds.

When it comes to skills needed for the future world of work, 88% of parents agree that play helps build resilience and emotional intelligence, while 95% agree that it helps build leadership skills and critical thinking.

Importantly, 93% of parents believe that toys can help children learn about diversity, and 89% of them think that toy companies have a role in creating a tolerant society though inclusive toy. Toys can help facilitate conversations about gender and sexuality that parents might otherwise not know how to initiate or facilitate, supporting the 9 in 10 parents who believe that it’s important to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion topics.

Adding even more impact to this, 98% of parents believe that playing together builds stronger family bonds.

One of the reasons for this is that play helps children learn language and  literacy, whether it’s through adults describing the toy or game to them, or whether it’s through listening to songs and poems.

“Parents surveyed also said that playing with LEGO bricks helps develop their children’s emotional, physical, social and cognitive skills, including collaborating with others, and learning from mistakes,” says Miroslav Riha, country manager for LEGO Group in South Africa.

Play also teaches children how to communicate, whether it’s through hearing stories or participating in make-believe play. This is where they learn about their role in their family and community, and how language works.

“All these various learnings and skills come together to give children the language and social skills that they need to navigate the world around them – whether it’s to engage in day to day basics, or to understand more complex topics,” Riha adds. “Playing might just look like a whole lot of fun – but it’s a vital building brick in our children’s social fabric, and equips them to deal with the world that they’re growing up in.

*The 2022 LEGO Play Well Study builds on the success of the 2018 and 2020 studies, which were designed to provide a bank of compelling insights and data about child, parent, and adult perceptions and behaviors on different topics. A 20 minute online quantitative survey was conducted across 35 markets between January and March 2022, asked to a total of 57,374 respondents, including 32,781 parents with children aged 1-12 years old, and 24,593 children aged 5-12.

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One Comment

  • Pieter December 29, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Play is the best way to figure outnwhats bothering your child when he/she is not a good talker


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