This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, which was launched in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health in children and young people. The theme for 2023 is “Let’s connect”, and here at Play Valley, we can’t think of a better way for children to connect than through play. Our very own Sarah tells Play Valley adults all about it.
We all thrive when we feel part of a community, whether that is with friends or family. It’s even more important for children in their formative years. When those connections aren’t developed, their mental health becomes affected. Play helps create that community.
So, why is it so important?
There are several reasons why play is so important for children’s mental health. One of them is by being active. Being physical through play and taking part in activities such as climbing up stairs, jumping into ball ponds and swinging off rope walls all contribute to their health and happiness.
Playing enables them to deal with challenges, learn perseverance and encounter difficulties with other children. During these instances, they build resilience which is a vital life skill that will help them to deal with struggles that could otherwise affect their mental health throughout their lives.
Of course, friendships are built through play. By interacting with other children, they learn to make valuable connections, learn about the world around them together and develop a sense of identity and belonging.
Play is the most natural thing in the world for children to do. When they do so, it is one of the only times at this stage of their lives when they are free to choose what they want to do and follow their own ideas for their own reasons. Of course, they are always going to be under your watchful eye and supervision, but they still gain a good level of autonomy and independence here which has a positive impact.
Children have a right to play, and as responsible adults, parents or caregivers it is down to us to ensure that we make sure they are getting enough to keep their mental health in top condition.
We are so proud of the little part Play Valley has in contributing to the maintenance of good mental health for our children. Creating a space that is safe for them to explore, is fun for them to enjoy and is accessible to every child no matter what their situation is incredibly important.
Join us in celebrating Children’s Mental Health Week, and make sure you are contributing to keeping their heads in tip-top shape!