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 esteem
Become physically strong and able.
Children naturally want to move, and in fact don’t stop moving if given the chance. The physicality of play means that co-ordination and cognitive skills are progressed. Giving a child the chance to use their body and take risks by sitting upright, crawling, jumping, running, climbing and balancing all help to develop muscles and enhance gross motor skills (bigger movements), As well as encouraging a healthy attitude about exercise, building muscle strength and staying fit, children learn how to gain control of their body movement and this in turn leads to being able to control finer movements such as holding a pencil or these days operating a game on a mobile phone or tablet. The consequences of no play at all in a child’s life could be fundamentally damaging to that child’s development. This has been very evident with children left in Bosnian orphanages in the 1990s, put in cots for twenty to twenty four hours a day, with very little interaction, no visual or auditory stimulation and no play what so ever. Studies show that the impact of such extreme deprivation like this leads to huge delays in all areas of development, cognitive, emotional, physical, and intellectual and a failure to thrive in all areas of life.
Describe how play and leisure contribute to children and young people’s development. “play is so critically important to all children in the development of their physical, social, mental, emotional and creative skills that society should seek every opportunity to support it and create an environment that fosters it. Decision making at all levels of government should include a consideration of the impact of those decisions, on children’s opportunities to play.” (Welsh governments play policy) Children start life vulnerable and totally dependent on their parents. In order for them to reach maturity they need to develop all aspects of themselves. Play leads to the development of intellect and...
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