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Play - The Importance Of Play

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6Play - What Is Play?, The Importance Of Play, Elements Of Children's Play, Social Elements Of Play

The Importance of Play

Through play, children learn the skills necessary to effectively participate in their world through play. Play provides children with natural opportunities to engage in concrete and meaningful activities that enhance physical, language, social, and cognitive development. During play, children increase their knowledge and understanding of self, others, and the physical world around them.

A child's motor development becomes increasingly more refined through the physical activity that play naturally provides. Through the manipulation of toys and materials, children develop small motor skills. Large motor skills are developed as a child runs, climbs, and throws a ball.

Play is also important for the development of children's language skills. Children experiment with language during play and use words to express their thoughts and ideas. As children become more sophisticated in their play skills, their language development becomes equally sophisticated. Children use language during play to solve problems and to communicate their desires.

During play, children are provided with opportunities for social interaction with peers. Children learn the importance of social rules and how to get along with others through play. It is during this social interaction that children learn to express and control their emotions and to resolve conflicts with others.

As children are encouraged to explore and manipulate objects and materials in their environment, cognitive skills are developed and challenged. Children gain confidence as they experience fun and success in play. This increased confidence encourages children to further explore their world and to seek out even more challenging activities. Ideas and concepts expressed by children during play increase and become more complex as their play skills increase and become more complex.

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