Why Free Play Is Important For Toddlers

Early childhood is such an important time for humans – we learn so much in such a short period.

As a trampoline park for toddlers, as well as older kids, we know this better than most. One term you’ve probably come across as a parent is ‘free play’. Many believe that this is a vital activity for all children, especially toddlers.

So what is free play? Well, for the inside scoop, keep reading.

 

What Is Free Play?

Free play is when we give children the freedom to play how they want to. The child will be the director of their own playtime, creating games, sparking imagination and selecting what they want to play with.

As we all know, no two people are the same and that goes for toddlers as well. When given the opportunity to enjoy some free play, different children will express their unique character with how they choose to play. 

Where one toddler will head for the toy building blocks to pile block after block, another child may be drawn to the sofa cushions to create a make-shift bouncy castle.

 

What Are the Benefits of Free Play?

As you can imagine, free play offers so many amazing benefits to children in their early stages of development.

On its face, free play may look just as though your child is trying to entertain themselves, but in the background, they are learning so many valuable skills that will benefit them in later life. 

  • Allowing your toddler to engage in free play teaches independence
  • Promotes the use of their imagination
  • Expresses their creativity
  • Allows your child to take the lead on playtime, teaching them to communicate what they want to do
  • Learning problem-solving skills
  • Joining in with your toddler’s free play is a great bonding activity

 

Types of Free Play 

There are plenty of different types of free play that can massively benefit your child, including:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Dress up
  • Active outdoor play (running, chasing, swinging, etc.)
  • Puzzles and other educational toys
  • Sandpits
  • Building blocks

Those are just a few examples of free play in early childhood. But really, there are infinite ways your toddler can engage in this beneficial part of their development.

 

Free Play at a Toddler Trampoline Park

Free play isn’t something that has to be confined to your home and the garden. It’s something that can happen just about anywhere, and a trampoline park is a great play for a session of toddler free play.

At High Altitude, we run dedicated tots sessions, which means for a set time, the whole trampoline court is reserved for toddlers and parents only. This creates an incredible environment for free play.

The textures, movements, sounds and amenities of a trampoline park create a whole new dynamic to how your toddler can approach their free play.

During this time, toddlers can also interact with other toddlers and together they can learn valuable lessons in life, such as teamwork, manners and communication.

 

Jump ‘n’ Lunch

As we mentioned earlier, free play creates an amazing opportunity to promote parent and toddler bonding. The difference between free play and structured play? The kids are the ones in charge!

With Jump ‘n’ Lunch at High Altitude, parents and toddlers are given free rein of the trampoline court, soft play, airbag, inflatables and basketball hoops to engage in some relationship-strengthening free play – another reason why free play is important.

 

One Last Thing

When it comes to free play vs guided play, each type of playtime comes with its own benefits for toddlers in their early development years.

We say that both free play and structured play are just as important as one another. Your toddler can enjoy both when you come to High Altitude Trampoline Park for some safe and fun toddler bouncing!

See our timetable for our tots sessions days and times.