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The Power of Play
"Research shows play can improve children's abilities to plan, organize, get along with others, and regulate emotions. In addition, play helps with language, math and social skills, and even helps children cope with stress".
Play Can Reduce the Impact of Stress
"In addition to boosting a child's health and development, play helps to build the safe, stable and nurturing relationships that buffer against toxic stress and build social-emotional resilience. The mutual joy and one-on-one interaction that happens during play can manage the body's stress response, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In one study, 3- to 4-year-old children, anxious about entering preschool, were two times more likely to feel less stressed when allowed to play for 15 minutes, compared to classmates who listened to a story".
For more information, checkout the article linked below on the impact play has on the developing brains of little ones, and how to incorporate age-specific ideas for play.