Recently I have being doing some reading about play and what valuable learning children develop from it. When I think of play it encompasses a huge amount of development for children including, learning social and motor skills and cognitive thinking.
“In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behaviour. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.” (Lev Vygotsky)
As a teacher every day I observe children learning through their play in a variety of ways, whether it be solitary play, onlooker play, parallel play, associative play, social play, motor-physical play, constructive play, expressive play, fantasy play or cooperative play.
“When you asked me what I did in school today and I say ‘I just played.’ Please don’t misunderstand me. For you see, I am learning as I play. I am learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. Today I am a child and my work is play.” (Anita Wadley, 1974)
There are so many benefits of play and I couldn’t agree more with Anderson-McNamee (2010) where she explains, “Play is an essential and critical part of all children’s development. Play allows children to be creative while developing their own imaginations. Play is how children learn to socialize, to think, to solve problems, to mature and most importantly, to have fun. Play connects children with their imagination, their environment, their parents and family and the world.”
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