The Importance of Play in Children's Development
Everything starts in the childhood. During this period of life many habits are being formed. Childhood has an effect on the life of every person. It lays the foundation for development. Bad or miserable childhood can have a great impact on the formation of a kind of a person a child will be, as well as good childhood. Happy childhood is impossible without play as it is essential in the life of every child. Through play children discover the world and many things around. Play teaches children to communicate, to do different things, and even to live. It is play that prepares children for future life as actually life is always some kind of a play, and to be prepared for life it is important to understand the rules. Playing plays a major part in the development of a child, and because of the fact that nowadays many children loose skills for playing, it is important to create a good environment for their play, and adults should be involved and help their children a little bit, leading but not pushing them.
Play is something that children do most of the time. It is their major occupation, their main pastime. Thinking about small children, it is the first thing that comes to our mind. We always try to find interesting games to entertain a child if we know that we will communicate with a small person. "It seems impossible to think about childhood or young children without also thinking about play. Play and playing are vital parts of children's lives" ("Better Kid Care", par. 17 ). The fact that playing has such a big role in the life of children is quite understandable as through play children learn how to act with others, they discover different feelings and emotions. "They learn concepts, relationships, cause and effect, sizes, colors, textures, feelings, emotions, sensations, sounds, symbols, and language among other things" ("Better Kid Care", par. 18 ). Play actually opens children's eyes on the world, gives some understanding of different things and of what is going on around. At the same time play develops children's imagination as it helps to use creativity and different skills, stimulate physical, cognitive and even emotional growth. "Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills" (Kenneth R. G., p. 183). It is essential to give a child opportunity to discover the world himself, to choose activities that are interesting for him, which will give him a chance to grow and develop faster and better.
Psychologists put much attention to play as many of them consider it as one of the important steps in child's development. One of the psychologists who viewed play as an essential part of a child's development was Piaget. "Piaget's theories about learning emphasized the need for children to explore and experiment for themselves" ("The Role of Play in Children's Learning," p. 6). He thought that children needed play to develop concepts before learning to think abstractly, and stressed cognitive development more. Another researcher, Vygotsky, in his turn, paid more attention to social aspects of a play. "He argued that during play children were able to think in more complex ways than in their everyday lives, and could make up rules, use symbols and create narratives" ("The Role Of Play In Children's Learning," p. 6). Of course, making rules and symbols is very interesting for children; they make their own worlds during the game. Play gives children the opportunity to communicate with each other, to socialize and to discover new and new things for themselves.
Play has a really great impact on a child's development, but children are loosing skills for play and the opportunity for the development of creativity now. High-tech toys and structured activities deprive children of opportunities for imagination and free choice. Sometimes structured play can be helpful for those children...
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