Childhood Education : Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Decent Essays
Spending a few minutes around a child of any age will reveal how much children love to play. On the surface, play may seem like an activity children should engage in when they are not learning. However research indicates great benefits of play. Those of us involved in early childhood education should be mindful to keep up with current research on developmentally appropriate practices, like play. Play supports children’s development in the important domains of physical, aesthetic, cognitive, social, emotional, and language development. Dr. Stone presents play as an “intrinsically motivated, freely chosen, process oriented” practice that all children engage in. (Stone, pg.1, 1993) Play is an organic format for children to learn and interact with their world. Research communicates how play allows a child’s neural passageways to be established, strengthened, and reinvented. The National Association for the Education of Young Children states, “When children make knowledge their own in these ways [through play], their understanding is deeper and they can better transfer and apply their learning in new contexts.” (NAEYC, pg.14) In essence, play is how children make information their own. In terms of the physical domain, research substantiates play as a valuable contributing factor to a child’s development. Play supports the development of both fine and gross motor skills within the physical domain. Children fine tune their ability to run, jump, skip, climb, and throw through
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