Based on Relevant Reading and Personal Experience Outline the Theoretical Rationale for Play in the Development of Young Children.

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Based on relevant reading and personal experience outline the theoretical rationale for play in the development of young children. This essay will outline the theoretical rationale for play in the development of young children. Boushel, Fawcett and Selwyn (2000:57) state, ‘Play is not easily defined...’ Play means different things to different people. Rubin, Fein and Vandenberg (1983) {cited in Hughes, 2010} suggest play should be intrinsically motivated, freely chosen, pleasurable, non literal and actively engaging. Play gives children freedom of choice, it allows them to lead their own learning, follow their own learning intentions and express themselves freely. There are many reasons that lead us to believe play is crucial for child…show more content…
Piaget (1952) {cited in Maynard & Thomas, 2009:103} believed play is assimilative and that it enhances existing knowledge. He also believed play ‘...allowed children to perfect, rather than acquire, developing skills.’ In settings children build upon existing skills whilst playing. Vygotsky (1978) {cited in Maynard & Thomas, 2009} believed social interaction with others more skilled than themselves allows for development, as children are social learners. He believed social interactions promote higher mental functioning. The area of functioning beyond the child’s current level is called the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Adults and the environment have a major impact on play and development. ‘Bruner (1963) regards scaffolding as one of the key roles of the adult...’ (Devereux and Miller, 2003:45). Instead of taking charge they should facilitate learning through play and support the child. Rousseau believed children should be allowed to play freely (Walker, 2003). In the setting it has been observed the adults do not lead learning, they observe and follow the children’s own individual learning intentions. One of the boys had a particular
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