Why is play important?
All children play and it is something that most children do because they are having fun, but without realising children are developing and learning skills when they are engaged in play. Play helps stimulate the mind as it is practical and gives children the chance to explore and experience new situations. It can also ensure that children get to think by themselves and be spontaneous as they control their own play. Children get the chance to be creative and imaginative which develops independence for children. Play is vital for child development and helps children develop five main areas of development:
“Physical- The way children learn to move and coordinate their bodies.
Cognitive- The way that children learn to think and process information
Language- The ability to talk and understand what others are saying.
Emotional- The way children experience feelings and learn to express them.
Social- The ability to make friendships/relationships with others.”
(Penny Tassoni, 2014, pg5/6)
Play supports children’s physical development as when they are playing they are being active and exercising their body. It is important that children develop strength and stamina from a young age and through play children may be using gross motor skills and fine motor skills which help their muscles gain strength and control. Gross motor skills are learned through energetic play as children are using large muscles such as their arms and legs whereas fine motor skills are learned through creative play as children use precise muscles such as their fingers when playing with small equipment and tools. Play also supports children’s physical coo...
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...ate together. Children may copy each other and share resources but they will not organise their play.
Cooperative: This is when children’s play is structured and each child will play a specific role. Children will play together independently without any support from adults and they will always be engaged in the same play. For example children may be playing in the home corner and will assign themselves different roles to play.
Mildred Parten concluded that that as children develop they are more likely to engage themselves in social forms of play. Babies and younger children usually participate in onlooker behaviour and solitary plays whereas prefer to play with others were their play is organised. I agree with this as within my setting I work with children ages 4-6 and they play cooperatively with their peers and need minimum support from adults in the classroom.
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