Around the world children are able to express their creativity daily through the medium of play. Children play everywhere, at home, outside, at parks, at school, and many other places. This activity is enjoyable yet at the same time children learn how to solve problems, cooperate, take turns, and get along with others without even realizing that they are learning. Additionally, they develop motor skills such as climbing, running, grasping, and balancing all while participating in various types of play. Authors, Gordon and Browne state “Through play, children learn about the world: what color purple is, how to make matzo balls, and how to be a friend” (120). Therefore, play is not only fun for the child; it can also become a learning experience.
What is play? Although there is no one consensus on the definition of play, it is undeniable that “play is the work of childhood” (Diamant-Cohen, 2012). If play is the work of childhood, then why is play being taken away? The answer lies in the “schoolification of the early years” (Kane, 2016). This means that many preschools are turning away from play and towards academics. Early childhood educators need to turn their focus away from thinking about academics and play as separate. Play should encompass all areas for a child’s well-being; social-emotional and academic alike.
Play is an important part of emotional-social development. Play can act as a way for children to reveal their innermost feelings and express thought. As defined by the text, play is “voluntary activities done for enjoyment or recreation that are not performed for any sake beyond themselves.” Children move through different levels of play as they mature. One form of play which scientists have become increasingly interested in is imaginative play. With imagination children learn how to be creative. Many children between ages 3-5 create imaginary friends for themselves.
Through the use of teacher directed and student initiated activities, students become more engaged in learning and therefore develop the skills necessary to become self-directed learners. By stimulating their interest and motivating a love for learning, teachers can use preschool curricula to build school- and life-related skills. There have been links between play and child development, especially in the areas of creativity, reasoning, executive function, and regulation of emotions (Bodrova, Germeroth, & Leong 2103). Active play is needed for healthy brain growth and not only strengthens muscles, but stimulates brain activity leading to higher levels of interest and curiosity. Through play children are able to try out different ways to handle and address stressful or hurtful situations and stand strong when facing challenging situations. Play enhances children’s memories and attention spans and allows children to connect their ideas into realities and realities into deeper understandings. Play supports children’s language development by improving their verbalization and receptive/expressive vocabularies. Using preschool curricula to build school- and life-related skills is a great practice as long as it is developmentally
Play is necessary for normal cognitive development. When looking at the stages developed by Jean Piaget, it is not difficult to understand how his theory influenced the concept of play therapy. His four stages are greatly influenced by play. In the first stage (sensorimotor) the child learns about object permanence as well as how to master his or her own bodies and external objects. The child does so through practiced play, he or she learns to manipulate objects and the effects of play on their environment. During the second stage (preoperational) the child’s language is at its peak learning, and the child does so through role playing and make-believe games. By the end of this stage, the child starts to become more interested in games with rules, structure and social interaction. The third stage (operational), the rules of play are more focused on the social aspects and are connected with acceptance by the group. During the last stage, (formal operations) the child’s play becomes more competitive and games with codes of rules begin to
Many theorists have tried to define play as a concept, however, no two agree on a set definition. Their backgrounds and induvial lifestyles influence the way they see the importance of play. Reed and Brown also believe that there isn’t an agreed definition of play because is something that is felt rather than done (Reed & Brown, 2000 cited in Brock, Dodd’s, Jarvis & Olusoga, 2009). In spite of this, it is clear that most theorists uphold the ethos that play is imperative to a child’s learning and development. There is a wide range of different studies and theories which helps us develop our own perception of what play is. In my personal experience I have found play to be a way of expressive our emotions, exploring and learning new things, thus
What is play? Is it an activity one does for enjoyment? Is it an essential learning tool? The answer is that there is no definite answer. There are professionals who have studied play and formulated their own answers as to what play is. Some say it’s unstructured peer interactions, others say it’s structured interactions. Some say it’s a special and undefinable activity while others say it’s a basic life activity. The reason for the clear differences about what play is, is because play encompasses many different things and has many different forms. From the moment babies are born until the moment adults die, they all participate in some form of play, whether it be smiling at somebody 's movement, playing hide and seek, or participating in a sport or group. Although the definition of play is not definite, there is at least one definite thing about play. That is that play is an important and crucial part of any developmentally appropriate early childhood classroom and has unfortunately been reduced and replaced by standardized tests and teacher-based teaching and learning. Play is an enormously important tool that human beings use to help them learn new information and without it
Play is a wonderful asset for our children and can benefit them in many ways: physical, language, self-concept, and social development are four examples of the different areas that massively impact a child’s development. The different play...
Play helps build sturdy learning foundations because later levels of learning are built upon the earlier ones. All types of play, from fantasy to rough-and-tumble have a crucial role in the development of children. It is the lens through which children experience their world and the world of others. If deprived to play, they are at bigger possibility for atypical development and deviant behavior. Without play, self-control does not develop satisfactorily Goldstein, J. (2012)