Social play is defined as play that occurs in the interaction of children with caregivers or other children. Typically, social play is not classified as a unique category of play because any type of play – object play, pretend play, and physical play – has the potential to be enacted alone or with others (Tarman & Tarman, 2011).
White (2012) in her study “the power of play” explains that interactions within play scenarios, however, provide great benefits to children whether their partners are adults or peers, and are therefore worthy of note.
In her study which focused on how children can benefit from play and imagination in early childhood, she notes that with age and increasingly mature social capacities, children’s interactive play with peers becomes progressively more common and complex. Children around the age of three are beginning to socialize with other children. By interacting with other children in play settings, a child learns social rules such as give and take and cooperation. Children are able to share toys and ideas. They are beginning to learn to use moral reasoning to develop a sense of values. To be prepared to function in the adult world, children need to experience a variety of social situations.
By preschool age, children’s imagination, language and communication skills permit communicating about social pretend play. Children can plan and manage their fantasy play easily and can modify the script as it progresses. During social play children acquire knowledge and information (such as colour names and word spelling), learn personal limits and social rules. Social play requires the play partners to share the same understanding of the situation and to agree on the rules of play. A ‘tea party’ ...
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...erative play begins in the late preschool period. The play is organized by group goals. There is at least one leader, and children are definitely in or out of the group. When children move from a self-centred world to an understanding of the importance of social contracts and rules, they begin to play games with rules. Part of this development occurs when they learn games such as “Follow the Leader”, “Kibet Says”, and “team sports”.
Dramatic play requires children to impose details, information and meaning into their play. Dramatic play structures should be very simple and basic in design and construction. A basic structure of four walls, a roof, and a window can be the children’s home, a classroom, a doctor’s office, or a castle. On the other hand, a realistic replica of a 7-11 convenience store can only be a 7-11 and a rocket can only be a rocket (Lawrence, 2011).
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