* Explain the innate drive for children and young people to play. The Playwork Principles (2006) state “All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate”.
“Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. Children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play by following their instincts, ideas and interests in their own way and for their own reasons. The child chooses when and how to play and this is seen as a biological drive, essential to health and well-being.”
This means that play is seen as a natural instinct for a child and is their way of understanding the world around them. Play is something that a child chooses to do and will do whenever and wherever possible. Play takes place in all aspects of a child’s daily routine whether they are eating, walking, talking or in the classroom. This shows that they have a natural curiosity and sense for adventure, exploration and excitement. Children do not even need to be given toys to play, they have the ability and imaginations to turn even the simplest of objects such as a cardboard box into anything they desire such as a castle or racing car.
* Analyse how play is necessary for children and young people’s development and well being. Play is crucial for a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Play is a child’s way of learning about their own body and the world around them. Through play they exercise key skills and qualities such as independence, creativity, curiosity and problem solving. It is an important part of exploring feelings and developing social skills. Children will begin by playing with inanimate objects such as dolls or cuddly toys, role playing and interacting with them which helps them to practice their language skills. This allows them to then have the confidence and vocabulary to move on to playing and interacting with other children as they learn to share, take turns and begin to learn emotions and emphasise with others.
* Explain what is meant by play being a biological, psychological, sociological necessity. Unstructured play enables children to find and pursue their own interests, giving them the freedom to be who they are. It allows them to discover their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses in their own time. Free play allows them to become risk takers who make decisions for themselves, helping them to learn from their experiences and failures. Every child’s natural instinct to play needs to be nurtured to enable them to develop. Through play children learn and develop as individuals and as members of society, if children are not given enough opportunity to control their play this can cause them to have the feeling of a lack of control in their lives or to lack essential social and life skills and can lead to a low self-esteem as they have not got the confidence to do and discover things for themselves. Through play children learn and develop as individuals and as members of the community and play also increases health, happiness and well-being. This shows that play is a biological, psychological, sociological necessity as a lack of it can have a serious affect on children and young people’s development. Task 2
* Evaluate the importance of the UN Convention on the rights of the child in relation to play provision. Play for children is a primary need to explore, learn about and make sense of their world. Article 31 of the UN Convention recognises children and young people’s right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to their age and participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
To support these principles Play England has produced the charter for children’s play which offers eight statements of what play means for children and what we should do to promote their right to improve it. - Children have the right to play.