Unstructured Play: More than just a good time

Unstructured play happens when children are allowed to explore, pretend and create on their own without instruction from adults.  Play Street Museum has thoughtfully designed each of our locations to foster imaginations and promote unstructured play!  

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5 Benefits of Unstructured Play

1. Children who engage in unstructured play expand their social and emotional intelligence

When a child joins with others in play, they are faced with circumstances that force them to negotiate, take turns, listen to the opinions and ideas of others and delay gratification. These experiences help build social and emotional skills that will benefit them as they grow and develop.

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2.  Unstructured play helps children learn about their world.   

When children engage in unstructured pretend play, they have the opportunity to behave as themselves and as someone else at the same time.  This allows a unique opportunity to explore the world from a different perspective as they put themselves in someone else's shoes.  Role play also allows children to explore interests that could later develop into a hobby or blossom into a career.  

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3.  Unstructured play cultivates creativity.

Studies have linked play during early childhood with increased creative performance later in life. This may be because by immersing themselves in unstructured play, children are able to exercise their brain by thinking creatively.  The more opportunities a child has for unstructured play, the more a child's capacity for cognitive flexibility is enhanced.

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4.  Unstructured play helps children develop not only mentally, but physically as well.  

In addition to the cognitive benefits that play has to offer, it is also a great way for children to be active and develop physically. Their gross motor skills are used when they climb a ladder or crawl through a tunnel and their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination is enhanced as they dress dolls, work on art projects or build with blocks.  

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5.  Unstructured play builds confidence.

Unstructured play allows children to think for themselves, learn about their likes and dislikes and explore their interests while they celebrate new abilities!  As children begin to understand themselves, they become more confident and better prepared to handle challenges they face.  

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