Play comes in different forms.
Social play – children play with friends and adults eg ball games, role playing pretending as customer and shopkeeper, board games etc
Independent play – play alone or by themselves with action figures blocks or puzzle
Guided play – play that has been set up by adults wherefore questions will be asked to direct them to play within the arranged context eg “How do you think we can make a track with these magnetic tiles? How can we make these tiles into a slope for the ball to toll down?
Predominantly, play develop the child intellectually. Play builds executive function skills, content knowledge and creative thinking. The child is practising his problem-solving skills, sharpens his memory and trains his hand-eye coordination while playing with a puzzle. During dramatic play, narrative skills are being used extensively. Thus, it helps to build their vocabularies and enhance their storytelling skills; following beginning, middle and end sequence.
Play also develops the child socially. Children have to take turns to play in a swing, listen to other children’s ideas in a discussion or express feelings and giving suggestions while negotiating who plays the tablet first and so on. Play definitely serve an important role in building a child’s empathy and other social cues as discussed above.
Another benefit of play especially in social and guided play is emotional development. The children has to regulate their emotions when friends refuse to share toys or they have to follow rules and regulations in a game like “Duck, Duck, Goose” for example. Children have to manage their frustration or anticipation while playing such games so as to make play an enjoyable and fun experience.
Finally, physical development is another benefit of play. Outdoor games, sports or even dance helps to build their gross motor; develop strength, muscle control, coordination and reflexes. Therefore, once children feel physically strong, they are more than willing to try new things and take risks such as racing down the hill or swimming underwater
As such, there is no doubt that when play is incorporated into children’s learning, better success and maximised engagement is achieved. PLAY!
Shafer, L. (2018, June 12). Summertime, Playtime. Retrieved from https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/06/summertime-playtime