Why Is Free Play Essential For Toddlers?

Why Is Free Play Essential For Toddlers?

Posted Thursday 16th March 2017

Do you know what free play is?

For toddlers, free play is time in which they can explore their surroundings freely, and let their inbuilt creativity run wild.

Some parents find it challenging to incorporate free play into a toddler’s daily or weekly routine. And when it actually comes to it, it often feels unnatural for parents to simply let their kids roam freely, without knowing exactly what they’ll do next.

Despite the urge to be constantly teaching our toddlers new things – increasing their vocabulary, showing them new things to count, and giving them every opportunity to learn, we can underestimate the value of letting a toddler’s growing mind wander, and leave them to explore their surroundings at their own pace.

Spaces perfect for free play include the great outdoors, school playgrounds, gardens and (would you believe it!) trampoline parks!

Toddler tumbling on long trampoline
Soft play with parents

For most toddlers a trip to the trampoline park is the first time they have experienced a whole new world of things to see, feel and learn. Leaving your toddler to explore the trampoline park at their own pace (of course, still under your supervision) is a great way of increasing your toddler’s creative impulses, as well as giving them the freedom to express themselves individually.

During free play, toddlers will often interact with others and make new companions, which increases emotional intelligence. Toddlers will come together to invent new games, create rules, and communicate in ways they wouldn’t if they were simply being led from activity to activity. This sort of early interaction develops all those qualities that we treasure when kids grow up: empathy, friendship, and social flexibility. In fact, research has shown that there is a connection between the amount of free play a child has and social success as an adult.

So parents remember, tuition isn’t the only type of learning your child needs. Unstructured, free play in spaces like trampoline parks is a great way for toddlers to develop their creativity, as well as learn valuable skills for later life.

Try it out! Book a toddler session at Oxygen


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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Updated 24/06/20

As you know, the parks are currently closed due to the Coronavirus epidemic. We’re working hard to keep spreading positivity throughout this period and provide you with activities to do during isolation including activity sheets, home hacks and more to keep the kids entertained over on our blog.

This time has truly highlighted our constant appreciation for everyone that works at the NHS and the incredible work they do day in day out, and in a time of national crisis like this, they continue to put their lives on the line. Once this period is over we want to give back to those who have worked so tirelessly throughout, starting with a free family day out for NHS workers. See more here.

Please be assured that we are pro-actively contacting all upcoming bookings to either rearrange their jump or confirm a refund. We have updated our FAQ’s if you need some further information and someone will be available on our online chat throughout the closure period.

We’re now working hard on preparing our parks for re-opening and implementing new processes to keep you safe. We do not yet know when we will re-open, but we will continue to monitor the guidance and update you in due course. Thank you for your support during this difficult time and we look forward to getting back to freejumping.

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