Child’s Play is Serious Business

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“For young children, there is no distinction between play and learning; they are one and the same. Playing is a priority in early childhood, yet not all play is the same” (Butler, 2008, p. 1). Since the beginning of mankind children have imitated adults and learned to survive through play. Evidence of this includes toys and board games from 6,000 years ago that have been found in Egypt and Asia (Dollinger, 2000). In the last two centuries, child’s play has been observed and studied by theorists and recognized as an important tool for adult life. Three theorists that studied children and spent their lives researching how children develop were Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. These theorists agreed that from the time a child is two years old, play, communication, and social development set the foundations for their future. These psychologists each have agreeable theories and each had theories that have been challenged by modern day researchers. Play, culture, and society were placed in a different order of importance for each. The toddler years impact adults in both positive and negative ways, depending on what type of reinforcement a child receives. These reinforcements, either positive or negative, influence an individual mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. Erik Erikson believed that there were eight stages of human development; the age for preschool age children (age three to six) is the third stage in Erikson’s developmental theory. This stage is also known as the Initiative versus Guilt stage. Erickson believed that children are naturally curious and want to learn. He also believed that children learn most from self discovery and play. Children are imaginative, repetitive and highly formable at t... ... middle of paper ... ...ything and everyone around them. For me, every moment I spend with BriarRose, I see learning and exploration developing. My job as a parent is to give her the support and feedback she needs now and one day she will become a contributing member of society. Works Cited Berk, L. E. (2010). Development Through the Lifespan. Boston: Pearson. Butler, S. (2008). Learning Through Play. Retrieved 07 15, 2011, from Earlychildhood NEWS: Dollinger, A. (2000, 12 01). Play. Retrieved 08 07, 2011, from Anceint Egypt: Mcleod, S. (2007). Vygotsky. Retrieved 08 05, 2011, from Simply Psychology: Nursing Resource Admin. (2010, 06 06). Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychological Development.

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