“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play. Penelope Leach
(psychologist and author)
I believe that children can explore their world, take risks, make mistakes, learn new concepts and develop life skills as they play. Play enables children to use their imaginations, develop creative thinking and start to express themselves.
It has been said that play offers choice, control and freedom within reasonable boundaries and thus helps children develop emotionally, physically and intellectually.
“As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.” Gretchen Owocki
During the ‘early years’ (0-5yrs) the child’s brain is developing, making connections and creating a network of skills that are built on throughout their lives. At 5 years old a child has learnt all the basic skills needed to survive (e.g. walking, talking, muscle/body control). To help children develop these skills we need to provide different play opportunities and environments (i.e. time, space and resources).
“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Kay Redfield Jamison (professor of psychiatry)
It is important to both play together with your child and also allow them to play on their own. Playing with your child shows you care for and love them and they will feel special receiving your attention. Playing on their own helps children become well-rounded individuals who are happy whether they're in small groups, large crowds or alone and don't need to count on others for their happiness and...