Have you seen this heartwarming new video by JOHNSON’s baby that’s been circulating online lately? It’s a very fascinating look at the transformative power of play and how children interact and explore with the physical world when their favorite gadgets are taken from them.
Check the video below for yourself. You might want to have some tissues ready, though — the #feels are strong with this one.
I found the message at the end of the video (Let kids #playforreal) to be a very powerful statement in this day and age when playing means tapping pixels on a screen.
To gain more insight on the importance of play and its role in a child’s growth and development, I spoke with Dr. Joselyn Eusebio, a developmental behavioral pediatrician who has devoted her life to the study and care of children.
According to Dr. Eusebio, sensory play is any physical activity that stimulates all of our senses, namely sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.For instance, she said that as children explore objects around them with their hands and fingers, they begin to learn more about it and develop their language and motor skills in the process. “Your sensory receptors are here. And therefore, when you touch something, you have a feeling of what it is and you try to describe it. When you describe it, you learn about shapes, right? His language development is being stimulated as well because he has to describe what he feels, what he touches.”
She further said that children who spend time playing with others outdoors tend to have enhanced social skills, creativity, and cognitive development. This is because real world stimulation of all five senses increases brain connections and enhances mental development which work hand in hand in a child’s overall progress.
This was confirmed by the personal experience of Kathleen Cruz, a stay-at-home mom whom I also interviewed. Kathleen said she noticed that her 4-year old son Jacob was more alive and active whenever he’s outside playing with other children compared to when he’s cooped up indoors playing with gadgets for up to 3 hours a day. Kathleen noticed that Jacob’s face showed a serious intensity every time he’s engrossed with technology and he would instantly get irritated whenever interrupted from his entertainment devices.
This got me thinking, does this mean that exposure to gadgets and technology is detrimental? Dr. Eusebio was quick to point out that this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, educational apps that promote reading and music help a lot in teaching children to be independent learners and also enhance their language and cognitive skills. Parents, however, should try to lessen their children’s exposure to these gadgets because studies have shown that constant exposure to technology can bring about sensory system overload, which may be detrimental to a child’s developing brain.
On the amount of time a child should spend with a multimedia device, Dr. Eusebio said that the Philippine Pediatric Society and The American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that children less than 2 years of age should not use any technology at all while children older than 2 should restrict usage to: one hour per day for those with special needs and a maximum of two hours per day for regular kids.
I got back to Kathleen and asked about her own experience regarding the changes she noticed in her son’s disposition after he was introduced to the concept of sensory play. She said to me that she could tell from the look on Jacob’s face that he was having fun and enjoying himself, laughing and learning from every activity he partakes in.
“It is through play that kids at a very early age engage and interact with the world around them,” Kathleen said. “It teaches them cognitive and physical skills that are useful as they grow up. It helps them develop and find their uniqueness and potential.”
Which brings us back to JOHNSON’s message: that sensory play contributes in a child’s holistic development by optimizing their developmental potential and providing them with the foundational skills they need to be successful adults.
Let’s teach our kids to explore and discover the world around them through the power of sensory play. It’s fun, won’t cost you a dime, and will create a closer bond between you and your child.
Do you want to know more about how your kids can #playforreal? Visit the official JOHNSON’s baby Facebook page today at www.facebook.com/JohnsonsBabyPhilippines. It’s chock-full of useful information and fun activities you and your child will surely enjoy.
Play for kids is so much more than just fun. JOHNSON’s supports #playforreal because that’s when your kids learn for real too.