When you think of your child's schooling, what is it that you think of? You may tend to view education in opposition to play, or a time allotment for play as something given to a child for studying hard or doing his or her schoolwork. Did you know, however, that play is an essential characteristic of learning? Especially during your child's early, formative years, play plays an integral role in the emotional and intellectual development of a child. By exposing your child to play, you are exposing him or her to the possibilities of the world itself. This brief article will detail some of the ways in which play plays an integral role at child care in the development of your child during his or her formative years.
Learning Through Play
Learning through play is a term generally used in academic circles, especially within the fields of education and psychology, to describe the way children can learn a variety of different tasks, whether they be cognitive, emotional, creative or kinesthetic from the phenomenon of play. Especially during his or her preschool years, a child can learn a variety of tasks while having a bit of round fun as well.
The well known 20th century American philosopher John Dewey believed humans learn from experiences, and although reading, writing and classroom rhetoric are indeed a form of valid experience, so is going out onto the field of play, using one's imagination and letting one's creativity guide you on your path to discovery. It is in this way a child is not unlike a scientist; a scientist is constantly experimenting with phenomenon. Likewise, a child is always experimenting with different modes of play.
While one young preschool-aged child may discover he or she has an affinity for a ball or for running, another may discover he or she has a great imagination and has constructed fantastic worlds for which the other children may play in. It should be noted that at such a young age, it is important for children to have their interest fostered by both the administrators and teachers at the child care center, as well as the parents of the child.
It is important for the child to realize their interests also have value at the adult level and if said interests are consistently fostered, then they could certainly have the skill to grow artistically, athletically and intellectually. Play fosters skills a child will use for a lifetime and perhaps one of the most important things an adult can do for children of such a young age is encourage them to make the best of their playtime and encourage them to continue to play.
Learning Socialization Through Play
Play can teach children a number of tasks, but perhaps the most important is the phenomenon of socialization. Socialization is perhaps the most important experience that children can learn through the phenomenon of play. Whether it is through playing a competitive sport or acting out a fantasy in a play field, children are learning how human beings act towards one another. By working with other children in the act of play, your child will learn not only the rote cultural norms of socializing, but a variety of other emotional factors as well. It is often said by sociologists that the phenomenon of play is actually responsible for the development of friendship in young children.
Learning through play is one of the primary factors of how children learn, especially during their very formative years. It is important to foster their interests and allow them to forge relationships in the very act of play.