Importance of Play

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The Importance of Play
ECE 430
Early Childhood Education Capstone
Prof. Sublette
Jennifer Bentley
November 28, 2011

The Importance of Play
Play is one aspect that is common in every child’s life. The importance of play for children is huge. It is so much more than a recreational activity for them. Play is essential for children; it contributes to healthy child development cognitively, socially, and physically (McFadden, 2010). Because of this, it is vital for parents, caregivers, and educators to recognize the importance of, and to encourage play.

Why is play so important? Recently at the preschool level, there has been a push to reduce the amount of play time and increase the amount of time spent on academic work. With the increased academic work load that is being placed on school-aged children today, this appears to be a good idea; however, the lack of play time for children is actually detrimental to healthy child development.

Children see play as fun. They do not engage in playful activities with the thought of learning social or mental skills, but play benefits these areas of development, as well as several others. When children play, they learn how to share and “be nice.” Learning these skills early will enable them to be able to get along with others in adulthood. Children also learn to interact with their surrounding environment. This interaction allows children to begin to make sense of their world (McFadden, 2010). Cooperation and good communication skills are essential in every profession and activity a child may encounter as an adult. By communicating with others, a child begins to understand the importance of language. They learn how to express their ideas and accept the ideas presented by others. Children also develop communication skills that help them resolve conflict and negotiate with others.

From infancy, children display the desire to gain control of their physical behaviors so they can become able to manipulate objects...
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