Describe the Potentential Values of Play in the Development of Children

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Danielle Dexter
Unit 7: Children’s Activity and Play
P2: Describe the potential values of play in the development of children M2: Explain the potential values of play in the development of Children

The Value of Play in the Development of Children
It is never too early to learn, all over the world, everyday, there are new babies being born into a big world of fun, a world they can teach themselves new things everyday and learn from one another, this whole process has been named, play.

The relationship between play and learning has been realised by practitioners and parents, but yet there is still prejudices surrounding the importance of children's play: some people believe that children need to "work" not play, and that playing serves no useful purpose in a learning and development environment.

It is well known that children learn from first-hand experiences and their mistakes, along with adults. Play is known to expand the ability to imagine and prepares children for later life when playing out real-life activities. The children are given the opportunities to explore their fears and anxieties in their play, all these things would never happen if an adult was to involve themselves in play, the children should be the ones to dictate the pace, length and focus of activities and any interventions should be subtly supportive. Play also allows children to extend their concepts, skills, attitudes and achievements.

Why Play and Exploration is Important…
Play and Exploration is important because it offers opportunities for: * making choices and decisions
* using one’s own ideas and imagination
* experimenting
* trying out new behaviours and practising old ones
* practising skills and learning new ones
* exercising, developing and coordinating body, mind and brain * adapting or transforming knowledge, attitudes and skills * negotiating
* follow an interest or line of enquiry
* engaging in ‘What If?’ activity
* making up rules and changing them
* making mistakes
* settings one’s own goals
* trying to emulate someone else
* using symbols
* Making sense of puzzling situations, events or equipment. * Becoming and being confident and enjoying challenges
* Having fun with friends and/or familiar adults
* Learning how to be a ‘player’ fit for life in a high-tech, post industrial society.

There are different stages of play, they go though to the age of 7+… When a baby is born, right up until it is the age of two, it is in the stage of ‘Solitary Play’. This is when babies and toddlers spend a lot of time playing alone in ‘their own world’. Babies’ for example may spend a lot of time talking to parts of their bodies. When a toddler reaches the age of two, he/she enters the stage of ‘Parallel Play’. This stage is where children start to notice other children play alongside each other. They may also start to imitate each other’s play. Gradually, children then become more and more involved in each others’ play. The next stage of play is ‘Collaborative Play’. This form of play is when children become co-operatively together. They can then decide how the want to play and make up rules for their play. They can also start to play complex games that require turn-taking. The last stage of play is ‘Competitive Play’. This is when some children from around 6-7 years onwards enjoy play that is collaborative and often structured, but also has a competitive dimension. Good examples of this are children playing board games, such as chess, as well as sports such as football and tennis.

There are different types of play which all age groups take part in… * Free/Spontaneous and structured/planned play: spontaneous play experiences are often those that the children find the most rewarding. This is because they are often child-iniated and thus of interest to them. Structured play is often when an adult is very involved and made an essential part of the...
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