Describe The Importance Of Play And Leisure For Children And Young People

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Describe the importance of play and leisure for children and young people.
Wales is the only country in the world to have a policy about play, part of it says;
“play is the elemental learning process by which humankind has developed. Children exhibit a behavioural imperative and instinctive desire to play. It has contributed significantly to the evolutionary and developmental survival of our species. Children use play in the natural environment to learn of the world they inhabit with others. It is the very process of learning and growth, and as such all that is learnt through it is of benefit to the child.” (welsh government play policy)
It is so important for children of all ages to be able to play as part of their daily life for many reasons. Children learn from everything they do, “Children are like sponges” is a familiar expression to everyone. Play is a vital part of human development. it leads to a world of discovery, problem solving, concentration and focus, literacy, numeracy and science. Play is a chance for children to try something for themselves, work something out by reinacting something they’ve seen or using pure imagination. Different ages will have different needs from their play, for instance a one year old may mainly prefer solitary play but interaction is necessary for the baby to progress emotionally, intellectually and physically. Parallel and observational play when toddlers play alongside each other but are aware of others still requires the start of turn taking and co-operation if a toy is wanted by both. Group play encourages interaction between peers which helps speech, attention span, co-operation, practising turn taking, team building, and emotional knowledge of other people’s needs. So play is important for many things;
Allows child to investigate and discover
Builds emotional bonds with carers
Stimulates creative imagination
Builds social skills
Explore cause and effect
Allows child to be “in charge”
Reach full potential
Build self

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