As they say, children learn best through play, and for small children their first learning happens as they engage in active play. Play time allows the child to learn various things that they can use while they grow and develop. Play is inevitable in the life of a child and it is only through play that they tend to adapt to their environment and other people easier. This article discusses the importance of play in children’s lives.
The Role of Play
Playing provides benefits for children such as:
● Allows children to learn communication skills
When children play with their peers or other people, they usually engage in communication with them; thereby fostering good communication skills. Through play time, they learn to communicate their needs and wants as well as develop better language formation.
● Promotes social skills
Children also learn the concept of sharing and listening to others while they play with other children. Playing also allows them to share their inner feelings with other children. Various games also allow them to learn socially acceptable behaviors.
● Improves their psychological development
Various educational toys help promote psychological development such as those related to sounds, colors, shapes and other basic things that a young child can learn. Technology may also play an important role even for younger children because the use of educational TV programs may also foster active learning.
● Promotes emotional health
Play is also essential to establish emotional health in children. Children who cannot verbalize their feelings can express them through play. Most psychiatrists observe children who are emotionally disturbed during play therapy in order to assess the child’s behavioral patterns. Play significantly improves their emotional health because it is also during this time that they become more happy and stable.
Play indeed promotes early learning in young children, which means that play should be promoted as early as possible. Children engage in different types of play according to their age level, so it is essential to know the development level of your child to provide them with age-appropriate toys or games.
Types of Play
As discussed, children engage in different types of play according to their developmental level, which include:
1. Solitary Play
Solitary play is seen in infants up to 18 months old. Solitary play involves engaging in play by themselves. Infants learn speech, sounds and movements through solitary play. Younger infants enjoy when they are provided with a big red balloon because their sense of vision is stimulated. For older infants, large blocks can be given.
2. Parallel Play
Parallel play is undertaken by toddlers from 18 months to three years. Parallel play involves children playing on their own alongside other children of their age. Parallel play is seen in play pens where group of toddlers play in an area, but do not interact with each other. Toddlers usually enjoy playing with push and pull toys.
3. Associative Play
Associative play is seen in pre-school children who engage in interactive play with their peers. Associative play includes role playing, hide and seek, and other make believe games.
4. Competitive Play
Competitive play is seen in school-aged children who engage in games or sports that involve competition with other children. The sense of competition usually increases the self-confidence of this age group.
Young children should be taught things through play. Children are people trapped in small bodies, who need play in order for them to develop and grow to their full potential.
Posted by Pitt Goumas