Topic 1: Play
5.1: Explain the importance of play to children’s learning and development and the need for an inclusive approach.
The relationship between play and learning seems obvious to many child professionals and parents, and yet there are still lack of understanding 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. This is surprising considering that play, with its high levels of motivation and potential enjoyment empowers children (as well as people of all ages) as follows: o Physical Development: Children approach tasks readily and willingly, children are open and responsive to the learning within the play activity i.e. walking, running, jumping, hand to eye coordination and skipping etc. o Social/Emotional: Sharing experiences with others in a constructive and positive relationship with those involved enable children to learn more easily from their peers, working as an effective group. I.e. taking turns, playing games in groups and alone and achieving. o Language & Communication: Children can negotiate their own response to the learning situation within a play activity. Children are able to offer their own input into the activity, feeling involved and listened to. No matter if there is a communication or language barrier. This can be demonstrated through, listen to one another, reading together, talking and playing everyday activities. o Intellectual/ Cognitive: Children are willing to "try", and feel that they can "have a go" without fear of failure. children will explore and find out at a level that suits them, once this has been identified, children sustain high levels of focus and interest in the activity their are involved in. E.g. jigsaw puzzles, counting, problem