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The Power of Play in Early Years

As we celebrate Play Day, Rageena talks about the power of play in the early years.

Raising children is filled with wonder, joy and quite a lot of uncertainty! As parents join us, we are regularly asked how they can best support their children through stages and phases so that they develop to their full potential. There is a plethora of advice and recommendations out there and parents will of course choose the best methods that suit them and their child. But one aspect that stands out as a natural and essential part of child development is play.  

A toddler in a plaid shirt plays intently with colorful stacking rings beside a lush fern, focusing on placing a ring on the stack.

7 Benefits of Play

Playing is not a pointless pastime, it is a powerful tool that actively shapes children. Here, I explore some of the incredible benefits of play and how Fennies Nurseries provides the perfect environment for each. 

1.     Cognitive Development

A child’s brain develops the most in their early years. So, this is a prime time to feed it with relevant information to support that growth. Every experience and interaction a child has will have an impact on how the brain develops. Stimulation is key. From shaking a rattle to building block towers or simple games such as peek-a-boo teach them new concepts and promote brain activity. Every moment is a brilliant learning opportunity for them to start to piece the things they see and hear together and develop an understanding of the world around them.

A young child plays with wooden toys in a colorful playroom, focusing intently on a small red and beige ramp structure. toys and books are visible in the bright, child-friendly space.

2.     Language Skills

Engaging in activities involving talking and storytelling is a fantastic way to boost a child’s language development and introduce new vocabulary. As children grow, imaginative play allows them to create stories and role-play, enhancing confidence, vocabulary, and communication skills. 

3.     Social Skills

Playing with others provides the ultimate playground for making friends. Taking turns, sharing toys, and diving into parallel play helps children develop social skills and understand how to navigate relationships with others. 

4.     Emotional Regulation

Play provides a safe platform to express and explore emotions. They will feel everything from happiness to frustration. But with effective intervention and conversation, these feelings and how to manage them can be explored, supporting the development of their emotional resilience. 

5.     Physical Development

Children love to move in all different ways. Whether it’s tummy time for building core strength or playing at the park to enhance gross motor skills, physical play is crucial to support children understand what their bodies can do and to build control. It also provides great opportunities for taking safe risks, which develops confidence too. 

6.     Imagination and Creativity

Imagination feeds creativity! And both are necessary to support so many life skills, such as confidence, problem solving, positivity and resilience. Using simple props such as cardboard boxes and dress-up clothes, children are encouraged to explore and role play, helping them develop and understanding of who they are and who they want to be. This is boosted when the adults around them are not afraid to get creative too and fully immerse themselves in the child’s world. 

7.     Secure Attachments

Play provides an opportunity to build a connection. Whether it be reading a book together or exploring new areas, children will begin to develop close bonds with those who are fully present and engage in meaningful play with them. Attachments like these, coupled with a safe environment, are crucial for a child to feel secure.

A toddler girl in a pink dress sits on a gray couch, holding colorful blocks with toy vehicles around her; she looks thoughtfully at the camera.

Meaningful Play at Fennies

At Fennies, we fully understand and appreciate the importance of meaningful play. Our carefully designed environment caters to every aspect of child development, and our educators undergo continuous training to master the art of interacting with children to ensure they are introducing new vocabulary, new concepts and sparking conversations. 

Key carers understand that children all develop at different speeds and learn in different ways so learning is seamlessly woven into a day of varied play daily, igniting cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth. With sensory-rich experiences and imaginative play, enhanced by our specialist education team, Fennies inspire learning and build solid foundations to support children through their journey with us and beyond. 

As Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” Let’s never underestimate the power of play but recognise its value in shaping a child’s future!



Director of Early Years

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