Play What Is Play? Definition of Play.

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What is play? Definition of play.

From an early age, play is important to a child's development and learning. It isn't just physical. It can involve cognitive, imaginative, creative, emotional and social aspects. It is the main way most children express their impulse to explore, experiment and understand. Children of all ages play. (Dobson, 2004, p.8)

This essay will describe the defining features of play, understanding of the roles and functions of play in early years. Play is not just fun for children - it is fundamental. Play is a key to a child’s learning and development. Parents are often their child’s first play companions, so understanding play and its value to children is helpful. What is the play and why is it important?

Playing is a much needed activity in the early childhood. The reason is that "play" is the building block of a child’s intellectual skills. The parents should realize that through play, their child develops social skills, problem solving skills and also interpersonal skills. Children develop very quickly during the early years. They change rapidly intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially and they need provision that helps them to overcome any disadvantage and which extends their knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence. It is very difficult to define play. The variety and variability of activities that we would define as play mean that there is no universally accepted definition of play. Vygotsky (2002) called play as “the leading source of development in preschool years”. He described play as “the source of development and creates the zone of proximal development”. Csikszentmihalyi (1981) called play as "a subset of life..., an arrangement in which one can practice behavior without dreading its consequences" (p. 14). Garvey (1977) gave a useful description of play for teachers when she defined play as an activity which is: 1) positively valued by the player; 2) self-motivated; 3) freely chosen; 4)...
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