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The Importance of Play to Children's Development

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Alice Fairweather

on 23 May 2013

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Transcript of The Importance of Play to Children's Development

By Kelly, Nadia and Alice The Importance of Play
to Children's Development Outline Today we will discuss:

What development is
What play is
The stages of play
How play is important to development Non-Social Play Associative Play Associative play will generally occur during ages four or five.

-Children will become more interested and may begin to interact
-Loosely structured activities (not formal games)
- children will not work together.
-Children may also share toys and comment on what other children are doing. Parallel Play Can occur at any age but generally
more common in toddlers. Cooperative Play Development! During this stage children are developing:

Cognitively: Turn taking, and sharing.
Physically: Fine and gross motor skills depending on what tasks the children are doing.
Socially: development begins as the children trade toys and interact while they discuss objectives. Development! During this stage children are developing:

Physically: Fine and gross motor skills, depending on what tasks they are doing.
Socially: social development is not the focus, however young children may talk to themselves, and reherse for social interactions in the future / later stages.
Cognitively: Developing problem solving skills through games. Pretend Play Development Physically: Fine and gross motor skills depending on what tasks the children are doing.
Socially: children have the same goal and follow rules so they develop vital social skills, mainly compromising as they discuss the game
Cognitively: Problem solving and negotiation skills developed as children learn to play cooperatively. Stages of Play
Unoccupied play: Birth to three months

Babies use accidental actions while they explore their surroundings and toys, however it may seem like nothing is progressing.

Solitary play: Three to eighteen months

Children are focused on themselves and their own play and are not distracted by what their other playmates are doing.

Onlooker play: One to two years

Children are observing what their playmates are doing. They are also communicating with each other, however they are not joining in with what is happening around them. Age group: four to six years old

At this stage of play, children understand the importance of working together cooperatively. Children are communicating their ideas with each other of what they want to do. Usually there is at least one person who is the leader to help establish the play outcome. Children are also good at following rules and taking turns at this stage. Play is a vital part of children's development which cannot be substituted for formal learning at this early stage.

Play is how children develop:
-And in many other forms

It is important to monitor and help children develop behavioral skills so they are able to use play effectively. Cognitive Physical “. . . movement is a child’s first language” (Macintyre, 2012, p. 13).

When young children play they are able to develop their:

Speed of movement
Spatial and kinaesthetic awareness

As children’s physical skills progress, the more valuable their experiences will be later on. Social Social skills develop through the later stages of play, mainly associative and cooperative. It is important that children have the opportunity to explore the world and learn social rules through play (Sue Duchesne, 2013).

Through play children learn to:
Cooperate and make compromises
develop language skills starting with parallel speech and moving onto discussion about rules and characters
take turns which teaches negotiation and patience with others
share ideas, in pretend play
problem solve in groups and develop teamwork skills
behave appropriately depending on the activity
develop moral understanding

Social development is vital for children both in school, getting along with peers and out of school in society. Play is fundamental to a child's intellectual, social, emotional, physical and linguistic development. It is an active form of learning that engages the senses, body and brain. Play immerses children in complex experiences. It enables them to be aware of how they are thinking and feeling, without pressuring them to achieve.

[Learning through play, 2009] Cognitive skills developed through play include:

Turn Taking
Mental Planning
Problem solving
Goal sharing
Acquiring flexibility in thinking

Children need unstructured play to develop theses abilities. What is Cognitive Development?
Cognitive development is the development (changes to) of children's mental structure and functions.

Through cognitive development children learn:
-conceptual skills as well as the ability to apply these skills to situations.
-to construct basic concepts What is Social Development? What is Physical Development? In conclusion During this stage children are developing:

Socially: the child may acknowledge the children around them and share their thoughts however it does not have much effect on social development.
Cognitively: Children will be developing a theory of concepts such as conservation.
Physically: Fine and gross motor skills, depending on what tasks they are doing. Development The Importance of Play Play is how children obtain knowledge.

Play and play based activities are crucial for healthy development in children.

Learning through Play is beneficial in many way, including:

Forming links with care givers
Understanding concepts
Learning reciprocity gestures
Exploring the world
Physical skills
Building pathways between senses and feelings
Developing self regulation
Learning social rules Parallel play is independent although play occurs near other children. The children do not play the same game, however they may vocalise what they are doing for the benefit of a child who is playing near them, this is called “parallel speech”.
The child is aware of the play happening around him and may stop his/her own play to observe their neighbour Social development is the development of skills required to form relationships and actively participate in society.

Children receive long term benefits from social development as they need these skills all of their life in school and work as well as social events. Without social skills children would not learn as effectively. All of these skills are developed early on through play. Pretend play is where children use their imaginations to invent their own story lines. They may copy what they have seen in their daily lives eg. Families and bring this into play.

It occurs as children grow older and are able to interact and share games.

An example of pretend play is children negotiating and deciding who is the mummy and the daddy and narrating a story in the home corner. Pretend play Physical development relates to how the body and brain physically change, as well as how fine and gross motor skills are acquired.

Children's brains are developing quickly between birth and two years old.

Children need to develop physically in order to gain:
A healthy brain system. Development Social: this stage of play is where social development is most clear, the children connect and build a storyline together, using phrases such as "let's pretend that..." to structure the play.
Cognitive: Children will be refining their negotiating skills as they learn to take turns and share roles.
Physical: Fine and gross motor skills depending on what tasks the children are doing. The Importance of Play
to Development Guess what, I am a special child,
I have a special Mum,
School makes me work hard all day long,
There’s not much time for fun.
It will be worth it, I’ve been told,
One day I will be glad,
But it’s today and I am young,
The pressure drives me mad.
My truly precious childhood years,
The best days so they say,
Spent catching up with boring stuff?
Please teacher, let me play!
For playing gives me so much joy,
I’m best at that, you see.
Why must I sit and learn strange things
That do not interest me?
Just let me play, that’s how I’ll learn
And then I’ll make you proud.
I’ll run and swim and learn to sing
And fly beyond the clouds!

(Macintyre, 2011)
Macintyre, C. (2011). Enhancing learning through play: A developmental
perspective for early years settings [Ebook library version]. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com.au/ References Learning through play. (2009). Learning through play. Retrieved from
Sue Duchesne, A. M.-l. (2013). Educational psychology for teaching and learning.
Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia. What Does This Means For Teachers? It's important to understand that children come from different backgrounds and some might not know how to play!

If you use play as a learning method you will need to:

Teach and monitor behavioural skills
Supervise and structure play
Help children learn to play
Use play to teach skills Play in the Classroom Teachers can use play to help children learn lesson outcomes and develop skills.
However, it is important they structure the play activities.
They can do this by:

Using parent helpers and teacher aides if available to help supervise
Structuring drama activities
Using small groups that can easily be monitored
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