Play and Early Childhood Development

4 April 2015
Covers the importance of play in the development of young children.

This paper combines research and theory on a number of relevant topics on children’s play and highlights the implications for practical application in Early Childhood Education focusing on ages three through six. The theme of the paper focuses on the role of the adult in children’s play and the responsibility of adults to understand children and their play. The author addresses an assortment of issues related to the development of play in early childhood.
“General intelligence and cognitive growth is indicated by three mental skills: (1) the ability to differentiate what is relevant from information that is irrelevant to a given purpose, (2) increased skills in using fewer signals to create more information, and (3) higher levels of thought. This means that the child needs a number of different cognitive abilities, including memory, reasoning, abstraction, and understanding of language. Play behavior contributes to these skills in several ways. At a minimum, play reinforces cognitive development with the respect to representational competence, operational development and problem solving. language development is closely associated with cognitive development and play has an important role in the child’s use of language.”
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