Classroom Curriculum And Schools Provide Greater Opportunities For Children

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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 an integral part of many mammalian’s development. Like human children, most young mammals devote a significant amount of time and energy playing together, and social play is fun. Play is not a meaningless activity; it is vital to the development of mental and behavioral flexibility, social and intellectual proficiency and maintaining social unity. Social-play, or rough-and-tumble play, is the earliest form of social behavior that is focused toward peers, rather than the mother. Similar to most young mammals, human children spend a great deal of their maturation engaging in play with others. The ability to engage in social play is an important indicator of healthy development. Social
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