The Power of Play

What is PLAY?

“Play is multi-faceted, complex and dynamic, eluding easy definition. It is usually felt to be a universal activity and children are often portrayed as having an inherent desire and capacity to play.”

Free or pure play: Children have all the control, and adults are passive observers.

Guided play: Teacher-child collaboration, with the child’s interests foregrounded.

This article focuses on Free/ Pure child play.

Freely chosen play is when a child decides and controls their play following their own instincts, imagination and interests. There’s no right or wrong way to play. Freely chosen play improves children’s health, well-being and development.

Play is important because play improves the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and young people.

Children also learn skills they need for study, work and relationships such as: Confidence, self-esteem, resilience, interaction, social skills, independence, curiosity, coping with challenging situations.

Physical play such as running, skipping and riding a bicycle helps children develop good physical fitness, agility, stamina, coordination, balance.

Playing can help children develop their social skills with others. By listening, paying attention and sharing play experiences such as, explore their feelings, develop self-discipline, learn how to express themselves and work out emotional aspects of life.

During early childhood, children’s play becomes increasingly complex, involving high levels of organization and requiring increasingly sophisticated social , physical and cognitive skills.

Infants and toddlers engage in exploratory and social play (peek-a-boo). Toddlers develop functional play involving the repetition of particular physical actions and early pretend play.

Older children develop imagination and engage in constructive pretend, and language play.

Much research concludes that play is a powerful learning mode and central to children’s learning.

Play integrates children’s experiences, knowledge and representations sin order to help them create meaning and sense and to understand the world.

Pretending requires children to think of things that are not actually present, a skill required in many learning and life situations.

It is important to give your children time, freedom and choice to play!!

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