THE BENEFITS OF PLAY
Play has positive implications for cognitive developmen
Play stimulates children's imagination, aids problem-solving and contribules 10 children's creativity. The important role of exploratory play has been confirmed Both scholars and praditioners argue that
by neuroscience. According to Mustard (20051, ploy-based learning, if 'properly
'play is pedagogy'; but, otthe same time,
designed, is actually problem-based learning ... one of the best strotcgics for brain
in many early childhood settings children
development as well as for learning' (p. 761.
spend their days mastering academic
skills in highly structured, adult,directed
Play contributes to children's emotional developrnent
environments. In theory, while play is
recognised as important, play-based
Play helps children understand adult roles, overcome Iheir fears and develop feelings
learning is often not implemented.
of self-agency and belonging.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PLAY
Play has great benefits for social development
Play is a concept that everyone seems
Play provides opportunities for children to work in their 'zone
to understand, but finds difficult to
development', and to understand and master social rules. Through undirected group
define. However, most theorists agree
play, children learn to cooperate, negotiate, resolve conflicts, practice leadership skills
that play is on activity with the following
and learn self-advocacy.
Play contributes to the development of active,
Encouraging free, physically active outdoor play has been recognised as an important • non-literal (objects and actions take on
strategy for dealing with issues of children's obesity.
new, ploy-related meanings)
process- rather than product-oriented
Play facilitates language and literacy skills
• freely chosen....
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