Alfano possesses a keen understanding and awareness of cultural similarities and differences of children around the world through her travel to over 40 countries for the purpose of researching children at play. Author of numerous articles, she is a sought after speaker at national and international conferences. Kathleen Alfano, Child Development and Play Expert, explains the benefits that play offers people of all ages and offers some tips on how to incorporate play into your day. The genius of play is that it has profound benefits for all ages. Babies and young children explore their own little world and learn new things about it and themselves through play. Preschool-age and older children practice life skills and develop their bodies, minds and social skills such as the ability to work in groups, share, negotiate and resolve conflicts through play.
In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing. But play is not just essential for kids; it can be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults as well. Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a sure and fun way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being.
Adults need recess too. Here's why you should make time to play.
Exhausted by the crushing yoke of their daily obligations, adults around the world are flocking to the playgrounds of their childhoods in search of relaxation and release. Not surprisingly, an entire cottage industry has subsequently sprouted up to help world-weary workers satiate their inner child. In the United Kingdom, a design studio opened a ball pit just for grown-ups, while laughter clubs in India offer a form of both spiritual and physical exercise for disgruntled citizens.
Tamis-LeMonda explains that play is also a great learning tool for children. Definitely not science. Studies and research show that adults, too, have a lot to gain from the act of playing. The most obvious benefit comes from play that involves physical activity. When done frequently, it strengthens your heart, boosts your lung function and lowers your risk of developing coronary heart disease.