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Play

By Mhanna05 Apr 16, 2013 435 Words
fEATURE

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

of prOXimal

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.

characteristics:
II!I

Play contributes to the development of active,
healthy bodies

intrinsically motivated

• pleasurable
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)
II

process- rather than product-oriented

Play facilitates language and literacy skills

• freely chosen.

Play increases children's vocabulary, their understanding of the double meanings

Although there is no general consensus on

of words and

provides the basis for story structures. Consistent research findings

the exact role that ploy has in facilitating

demonstrate a close link between symbolic play and literacy development. Pretend

children's development, theorists such

play with peers helps children develop the same kind of representalionalthinking that

as Erikson, freud, Pia get, Vygotsky and

is needed in early literacy activities.

Porten all argue the importance of ploy.

Garvey, Bruner and Sulton-Smith, as well

Play contributes to the development of early mathematical
concepts and skills

as recent findings in neuroscience, confirm

Play helps children learn about spatial relationships (proximity, direction, shapes etc.1

the developmental benefits of ploy for

and quantity (quantifiers, number concepts etc.l.

further studies into play conducted by

young children.

24

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