Play is the way children learn and is a word that is used to describe the different activities behaviours that children participate in, this would concur with “Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivist theory that suggests that play promotes both mental and social development for children” (cited in Goulding, 2016, p16). Early childhood educators such as Froebel and Vygotsky have always promoted the importance of the outdoor learning environment. According to Vygotsky (1978), children learn through interacting with the environment and through social interaction with others. Social constructivist theory, believes play is important for the growth of a child’s cognitive emotional and social development and
The terms “play”, “learn” and “teach” are commonly used in the early childhood sector. This essay attempts to define and interconnect these terms to produce a holistic understanding of how play can be used as a medium to help children learn.
It is necessary for children to play. Play-based learning can lead children to greater opportunities such as social, emotional, and academic success. “Play is a powerful tool for self control and self regulation which has shown to be a predictor of optimal early future success in life.” Through play, many children learn about themselves. As they play, they develop a sense of social cognitive and emotion skills. It brings out their creativity and they develop self-confidence, a sense of leadership, language skills, persistence and a positive self-image. “As they play, they learn to problem solve and how to get along with others.” (Jane K. Frubose, 2008). Play encourages children to learn and grow. It also encourages them to use their brain in different ways, cooperate, and take turns. At home, parents are children’s playmates. “One of the best ways that children learn and develop both at home and during school is through play. Especially in the early years of a child’s life is essential for discovering and understanding the world around them.” (Barbra, M.B, 2011). “Studies show that children’s time is well spent during play experiences, which is why many educators refer to play as “work of
The meaning of ‘play’ can be very hard to define in an early childhood context. What is play? Does all learning involve play and does all play involve learning? I believe that all play is learning, but not all learning is play. We consider that teachers are more likely to notice, recognize and respond to learning taking place during play than someone who doesn’t have the knowledge or understanding to see all learning through play. There are many meanings and definitions of play, and teachers themselves hold varied beliefs about what establishes play. It is described, understood, valued and enacted differently across diverse cultures. Wood (2015) mentions three important contested concepts of play, such as, play as learning, play as curriculum and play as pedagogy. “Critical discourse analysis is used to consider these concepts…validations for play as learning, curriculum and pedagogy have been
Play is the primary context in which children express themselves and build their emergent social communicative skills, as well as social competence and emotional skills such as emotional regulation, expression and understanding. It is an important topic of research because of the recent curriculum focusing more on academic skills in early childhood classrooms. That is why, questions rose about the developmental benefits of play. As Piaget (1962), Schwartzman (1978) and Vygotsky (1978) suggested children’s play has been conceptualized in terms of creativity, adaptation, exploration, learning, experimentation, socialization, communication, acculturation and mastery. From a social constructivist perspective, play enables children to develop,
Play can be defined as activity that is intrinsically motivated, implies flexibility, positive affect, and pretence. Play also implies free choice and active engagement (physical and psychological involvement rather than passive observation). Generally, main types of play are recognized as: object play, pretend play and sociodramatic play, physical activity play (exercise play, rough-and-tumble play), and games with rules (Smith, 2010). These types of play overlap and are not easily separated. Play specialists, parents, governmental institutions generally believe that each of these types of play support different aspects of children’s development and their effect is crucial to children’s health. However, psychological research lacks experimental and correlational evidence to support this stance. Here some types of play are examined in relation to development from three points of view: one, play is essential to children’s cognitive development; second, play is one of many routes to positive development (equifinality); and third, play is a byproduct (epiphenomenon) of other factors that lead to development (Lillard et al, 2012).
Play helps equip children for what life may throw at them. Children are born to be actively engaged and explore the world with their own eyes. Through play children learn what it means to fail in life as well as what it means to accomplish a goal. Play is not only a strategy to keep children entertained in early childhood, but also allows children to learn how to create and work together at an early stage. Children at play has been undervalued by society without realizing that “playfulness is that benign base on which the most valuable worlds of children can be successfully built (Iakov, 2012, p. 25),” meaning that play is a fundamental strategy that assist children to develop experiences for the future. It is very upsetting that society
Many researchers strongly believe on how important play on human development. A spontaneous play contributes to cognitive, social, emotional, physical and language in early childhood development. Plays promote social competence, creativity, language development, and thinking skills. The benefits of play that children use their creativity while developing their cognitive and social skills. Children learn best where the environment provides them an opportunity to create, explore, and discover the world around them. The undirected play allows children to understand the social interaction and interact with each other and learn to negotiate, resolve conflicts, cooperate, share, and self-advocacy skills. They display emotional and develop a sense of empathy through play. It also helps children to develop self confidence and resiliency they will need when facing challenges in the future. Play is essential to children development and one of the main ways in which children learn. In other words, children learn through play.
According to the cognitive development theory, the purpose of play is to develop intelligence. While children play, it is theorized that they are able to learn to solve problems (Wyver & Spence, 1999). One of the most influential contributors to understanding
Brain develops in its infancy through play and shapes the structure of the brain. Children take part actively to explore their surroundings that support them in building and strengthening brain pathways through secure attachment and encouragement. Play develops brain for flexibility and improvement potential for learning later in life (Lester & Russell, 2008, p. 9). Quality play experiences help children to well develop their memory skills, language skills, regulate behavior, academic learning (Bodrova & Leong, 2005). Put mirror in the baby’s room at their level babies begin to an increase their sense of
Play in children stimulates physical, social-emotional, and creative development. As curious as children play and develop language and social skills, cooperative and share, and physical and thinking development. “Play leads to a strong and powerful sense of self-concept; it helps children
2.The two developmental areas are cognitive and physical. Play is important for a child’s development. In cognitive it has been known to improve skills such as problem solving, talking and written language, critical and creative thinking skills, and organizing and planning skills. The child will have success in academics at school. Play is very crucial in the development of children’s gross and fine motor skills. Children practice
Play is fundamental to healthy cognitive, intellectual, emotional and social development. It is so important to optimal child development that play has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. However, with today’s hurried and pressured lifestyles children may not be receiving the full benefits of play. With declining opportunities for children to experience free play, it is imperative that classroom curriculum and schools provide greater opportunities for children to play. Encouraging children to learn through play promotes a well rounded and healthy child development of social-emotional behavior, language skills, cognition, and problem-solving skills. In the words of Maria Montessori, “play is the work of the child”.
Play is important for all children and it has a fundamental role within Early Years Education. When a child is engaged in play, they are also learning. This makes play one of the most effective teaching methods for early childhood education. Through play, children discover and explore their world, acting as a scaffold for their overall development (Isenberg and Quisenberry, 2002). Therefore, it can be said that play is allows for children to reach optimal development. Every child is entitled to the right to play and relax (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, Article 31). Play is a key facilitator for children’s learning as it “is an important vehicle for children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, as well as a reflection of their development” (Zigler et al., 2004, p. 9). According to Fromberg and Gullo (1992), play enhances a child’s language development, social skills, creativity, imagination and thinking skills. Roopnarine (2002) and Bredekamp (1988) believe that play improves children’s academic performance as it helps to improve their memory and language development which helps children to develop basic academic skills in areas such as literacy and numeracy. Play enhances children’s social and emotional development due to the interaction and socialisation they experience when playing with others (Hull et al., 2002). They are able to gain and develop their social skills, copy the behaviours of others, share and work alongside others
Children love to play, but it is not all fun and games! Children play for fun and enjoyment, but while they play they are also exploring and learning new things. Children can practice a skill, build or strengthen a relationship, and check out new things (Pruett). Play is often described as an activity that one does for their own entertainment and sake. It is defined by being internally motivated, controlled, and valued, whereas work is defined as externally motivated, controlled and valued (Carlisle). In our complex world today playtime can seem to be a waste of time to many parents and educators. But playtime can be one of the best investments parents can make in their child’s education. Playtime is necessary for healthy child development, and can also be an important factor in how well a child does in his future education (Pruett). Parents can easily help their children develop socially and emotionally by simply playing with them. In fact, David Elkind, author of Power of Play said, “When parents take the time and make the effort to play games with their children, it gives children a sense that they are important in their parents’ lives. All this game playing and social learning makes it easier for children to learn in a school setting where they are interacting with adults and have the basic social skills that are the basis for formal learning (Peters).” Play continues to be beneficial throughout childhood, even when the child reaches school. Play is more than just