Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 2

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:16 PM
The importance of Play
Although I’ve been focusing on unstructured, creative play, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for structured play as well. Play, in general, is an essential part of children’s lives because it “is the primary path to learning for the first five years or so.”1 Linn states that, “preserving and nurturing children’s capacity to play is essential to all aspects of their mental, social, and emotional development. Play is a fundamental component of a healthy childhood…”2Individual play helps children to develop social skills, the ability to concentrate, stick with tasks, and enjoy alone time. Creative or imaginative play helps children to work through feelings and frustrations, build language skills, practice social skills, express themselves, build self-confidence, and understand and gain a sense of control of the world around them. Interactive play helps children to learn skills such as taking turns, following directions, sharing, dealing with winning and losing, and respecting other’s abilities. Play is also helpful in preparation for formal learning as children work on their gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, and creativity through play naturally. And in addition to the benefits listed previously, when you as a parent take part in your child’s play it allows you to broach topics that might not come up otherwise and teach behaviors and ideas that are important to you.

0 comments on "Playing Purposefully - part 2"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Playing Purposefully - part 2

The importance of Play
Although I’ve been focusing on unstructured, creative play, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for structured play as well. Play, in general, is an essential part of children’s lives because it “is the primary path to learning for the first five years or so.”1 Linn states that, “preserving and nurturing children’s capacity to play is essential to all aspects of their mental, social, and emotional development. Play is a fundamental component of a healthy childhood…”2Individual play helps children to develop social skills, the ability to concentrate, stick with tasks, and enjoy alone time. Creative or imaginative play helps children to work through feelings and frustrations, build language skills, practice social skills, express themselves, build self-confidence, and understand and gain a sense of control of the world around them. Interactive play helps children to learn skills such as taking turns, following directions, sharing, dealing with winning and losing, and respecting other’s abilities. Play is also helpful in preparation for formal learning as children work on their gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, and creativity through play naturally. And in addition to the benefits listed previously, when you as a parent take part in your child’s play it allows you to broach topics that might not come up otherwise and teach behaviors and ideas that are important to you.

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