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School age programs in Rockville, MD.

The Role of Play in Before and After School Care: Fostering Growth and Development

For many of us, our best memory from youth is a time when we were just playing. Building forts with our siblings in the backyard. Riding bikes with the kids who live next door. Spending the whole afternoon with Mom making arts and crafts. We’ll always remember these times of play, won’t we? But they do more than just give kids something to remember. They are very important for the growth of young children.

It’s important to remember that kids play differently based on their age and personality. It turns out that kids benefit a lot from play, whether it’s on their own, with an adult, or with other kids. Studies show that playing helps kids learn to think, move, and get along with others. It can also help them deal with how they feel.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the role of play in school age programs in Rockville, MD.

Improve Physical Abilities

Even if you’re not a sports fan, you can’t argue that doing some kind of exercise isn’t beneficial, especially for kids who have a lot of growing to do regarding their muscular development, coordination, and reflexes. Active play should be included in the daily plan for your after school program. Some examples of active play include running down hills, team-type games, and climbing on play structures.

Your children will be able to increase their fine and gross motor skills, get an awareness of spatial relations, improve their dexterity, and raise their stamina by doing this.

After School childcare Rockville, MD

Teaches Social Skills

If you lack social skills, it will be tough for you to succeed in life. Think about it. As an adult, you interact with people regularly, whether it be the parents of your kid’s friends’, coworkers, grocery store clerks, or the insurance agent on the other end of the phone. The question is, how did you learn to interact with different types of people?

The development of social skills in humans begins in childhood, and one of the most effective methods to guarantee that children acquire these abilities is to provide them with opportunities to interact and play with other children their own age.

When children play together, they become aware of key social expectations, learn to share, listen to others, and compromise with them.

Teaches Cognitive Skills

Young children and older children at a Rockville child care center can learn about their role in the world via play. It also enables children to explore, engage their imagination, and sate their curiosity while fostering critical thinking abilities and an understanding of cause and consequence.


Adults use each of these fundamental skills daily. Giving your children plenty of play time is a good way to help them develop the skills they will need to survive and even flourish in the real world.

After School childcare Rockville, MD

Helps Emotional Development

The last benefit, but probably one of the most important, is that youngsters learn how to process their feelings via play. What does it look like when a child is defeated in a game? They most likely experience feelings of grief and sometimes even rage. What about when they are victorious? They most likely experience joy as well as an increase in their self-assurance. Dealing with these feelings can be done in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Children gain the experience via play necessary for them to work with their feelings constructively.

Downsides to No Free Play Time

According to several studies, not getting enough play time might have detrimental repercussions that last a lifetime. Children who are deprived of the opportunity to engage in healthy activities, such as playing outside daily, are more likely to have attention and behavioral issues than children who are not.

A child’s emotional growth can be negatively affected, their imagination can be stunted, and their stress levels can even increase if they don’t get enough time to play. These are just a few of the consequences of not giving children enough opportunities to play.

It is impossible to overstate the significance of playing and having fun at a child care center in Rockville, MD. It is one of the primary means through which youngsters acquire knowledge and develop their abilities. They risk not developing normally if they do not get it.

Prioritizing Play in School Age Children

The value of having fun does not decrease as children grow older. Playtime is essential to the development of fifth graders, just as it is to the development of younger children. The only thing that will set them apart is the activities that they participate in.

For instance, children of school age frequently like building with Legos, participating in sports and other types of physically active activities, learning to play instruments, and playing video games. Yes, playing video games is considered play; nevertheless, we recommend limiting the amount of time your children spend in front of screens regularly.

It is essential to remember that children of school age have a far higher level of autonomy than younger children. Because of this, children who are in elementary school or higher should be permitted to pick their own activities to engage in during their free time; of course, this should be done within the bounds of reasonableness.


The value of playing has been demonstrated time and time again. Children who do not have sufficient opportunities to engage in play are at a decreased risk of developing the cognitive, physical, and social abilities necessary to be successful in life. Now that you know and understand just how important free and structed play is at child care in Rockville, MD, it is your responsibility to make sure the places your child is attending offers it.

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