The Health and Development Benefits of Play

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Playing Health Benefits of Play

Are you wondering if you are doing everything you can to help your kids develop and grow? You might be overlooking something you do all the time with your little one -- play!

Pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Judy Ho explains play is essential to a child's development and contributes to cognitive, physical, emotional and well-being. While playing, kids are problem-solving, developing skills and overcoming physical challenges and mental challenges.

Dr. Ho would like parents to reap the important advantages associated with play and answers parenting issue questions to see if play can help.

Parents Marc and Beth tell The Doctors they are looking to find extra time during the weekend to get things done and wonder if play can help. "Yes, play can," Dr. Ho says, sharing playtime has been shown to improve the quality and quantity of sleep for a child, which will allow parents to tackle tasks while the child is napping.

Susie and Jack ask if play can help their kids stop fighting as much. "It sure can," Dr. Ho says, sharing that play has been shown to improve a child's social skills, which may help kids learn to share and cut down on bickering.

Mom Gwen worries her child is spending too much time playing and not enough time on homework, but Dr. Ho explains playtime can help to improve academic performance and focus. "When you move more, you perform better in school," Dr. Ho says, adding that play can also help kids work better in groups, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts and learn self-advocacy skills.

Beth asks if play can help with a child's anxiety and frustration. Dr. Ho notes play has been shown to improve language skills, which can help a child better share their feelings, which may help ease their anxieties.

Furthermore, playtime has been shown to decrease stress, fatigue, and depression in kids. For parents, play can help you connect with your child and better understand their sense of humor and individuality -- along with helping to keep parents active. 

In addition to making toys, Little Tikes continues to support play and the health and development benefits it provides with Project Play Big, a weekly YouTube series, which has created the opportunity for play for a variety of deserving families. As part of their 50th anniversary, Little Tikes is going on tour this August and are encouraging people around the country to "Play Big" in their neighborhoods and communities. Visit to learn more.

*Sponsored by Little Tikes