Learning Through Play
Play is essential in helping children understand the world around them and in helping them to develop socially and emotionally. It helps to build self worth by giving a child a sense of his or her own abilities and to feel good about themselves. Because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are doing. In turn, this helps them develop the ability to concentrate. Providing children with a range of playthings, will help them learn in a number of ways:
What is the importance of play for children?
Play allows children to relax, let off steam, develop social skills such as concentration and co-operation, it encourages the development of the imagination, develops motor skills and teaches self expression.
‘Many children seem to be born with a natural ability to play, but some children find it more difficult and need to ‘learn’ how to play well and this is where parents can make a big difference. Whilst it is very important that children play with their peers and are given opportunities for unstructured play, children who also play with a loved adult can benefit greatly – the benefits of having fun together cannot be underestimated!’
(Sarah Owen- founder of pyjama drama).
How does role play benefit children?
Role play is essential to a child’s social and emotional development and can play a large part in their physical development too. Children make sense of the world in which they live in by acting out situations before they happen and by copying with what they see around them. Role (or pretend) play contributes to a child’s emotional development as they learn to see life from a different viewpoint and allows them to ‘trial’ situations before they happen.
Most children are naturally imaginative and will happily talk away to someone on their toy phone or drive the sofa to the shops, and this creativity should be actively encouraged! This type of play also develops children’s imagination which is closely linked to intellectual development.