Importance of play

6 June 2016

What is play and why is it important?
Play is the primary way for children to learn. It is essential to development because it contributes to the physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. It is through play that much of children’s early learning is achieved. Of it benefits, it offers to parents the opportunity to engage fully with their children.

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Through play children learn about shapes, colors, cause and effect, and about themselves. It allows children to use their creativity and emotional strength. Through play, children at an early age interact in the world around them. Play allows children to conquer their fears, to practice decision-making, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest and to learn how to interact with other children and make friends.

There is a lot of different types and stages of play that children will take part in, depending on their age, mood and social setting. Unoccupied play: the child is relatively stationary and appears to be performing random movements with no apparent purpose. A relatively infrequent style of play. Solitary play: the child is are completely engrossed in playing and does not seem to notice other children. Most often seen in children between 2 and 3 years-old.

Onlooker play: child takes an interest in other children’s play but does not join in. May ask questions or just talk to other children, but the main activity is simply to watch. Parallel play: the child mimics other children’s play but doesn’t actively engage with them. For example they may use the same toy. Associative play: now more interested in each other than the toys they are using. This is the first category that involves strong social interaction between the children while they play. Cooperative play: some organisation enters children’s play, for example the playing has some goal and children often adopt roles and act as a group. Play is a cherished part of childhood that offers children important developmental benefits and parents the opportunity to fully engage with their children.

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