Play Is Important For A Child 's Development

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Before we explore why play is important for a child’s development, let’s take a look at what exactly “play” is. Play can be a vague term in the educational world because its definition is unclear, especially when putting it in the context of a classroom. Play can be defined as anything a child does within the social context and sometimes it is defined as just "recess" or "free time". There are confusing and conflicting definitions but there are two sure forms of play in the context of education: free play and guided or structured play. (Pearson, 2014) Even though it is tough to define what exactly play is, we know that play is very important in a child’s development. So why is play so important? “Many early psychologists, particularly those influenced by Freud, believed that early childhood experiences were critical, especially for emotional/social and cognitive development” (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 5). Theorist like Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Lev Vygotsky believe that play helps with social development. In addition, play is important because it helps develops language and literacy as well. Play is also beneficial because it can be used to deepen the understanding of the content being taught in the classroom. Lastly, play is important because it teaches problem-solving skills. Piaget’s cognitive-developmental theory suggest that children learn through the interactions that they have with the world. Although Piaget (1962) felt that play has a primary
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