Summer Fun at GLA & The Importance of Play
This summer, we have highlighted some of the activities the GLA kids have been doing. We have focused on their fun and play. However, we also wanted to share why play is so essential for kids, especially for GLA kids. Many studies have shown that fun and games help children thrive. Many of these studies show that play builds thriving brains, and bodies and develops kids socially. We know this is true if we remember our summer days of playing hide and seek, kick the can, tag, and red rover red rover.
When kids are raised in orphanages, they experience significant trauma and loss. They have suffered through the upheaval of leaving their birth families and moved to a place that is all new: new caregivers, new people, new home, and new environment. Everything is strange and new. At GLA, we take great care in providing a “home” environment for all our children, which includes play. We understand the enormous responsibility it is to care for and love children that have been brought to our campus due to unbearable challenges.
And with that in mind, our goal is that our children are not developmentally lacking because they are no longer with their birth families. That’s where play comes in. Play is a key that unlocks many doors for development.
The obvious is the physical development when they are outside playing—no question on that front. But play also develops creativity and reduces stress. Our kids have come out of a stressful situation, and they need time to de-stress. Play is the avenue to let them de-stress.
Play also develops social skills. Parents usually take on that job. With no parental guidance, play can fill in some of the gaps to build their social skills, such as caring, sharing, and negotiating.
However, most importantly, play lets kids process their emotions and learn new concepts. When a child loses a game, they begin to learn how to process frustration, anger, and sadness. But when they win, they get to enjoy those feelings as well.
All that to say, what did the GLA kids do over the summer? They played:
- Field trips
- Macrame Club
- Pool Party
They had some fun. Each and every experience was a learning experience. All kids need to play, but GLA kids need to play and learn all the things that play can demonstrate. Our kids could not enjoy summer like the summer of 2022 without your continued support. We thank you, and so do our little angels.