The theories on play are categorized under two broad categories of Classical and Contemporary Theories. Play is an essential component of development and learning and enriches the experiences of children engaging in it. Play activities provide children with various opportunities to engage in different aspects of the social world thus helping them develop. Introduction Ask a child and he would tell you or even asking the question to ourselves can remind us how much children love to play. For children, play usually reflects what they hold important in their lives. Play mirrors a children’s cognitive, social and physiological development. Children relate “play” to as feelings of having fun, interaction with friends, having the authority to choose the kind of activities they engage in and obviously the exhilaration of being outdoors. Play activities can range from being funny, noisy, messy to being very serious and effortful. The kind of play that children would engage in varies with their developmental stage and it evolves as the children grow and explore new things around them. Through play, children are strengthening existing learning or practicing a skill. Play can also play a significant role in building or strengthening a relationship. Engaging in play provides children with a chance to bring their own interpretation and understandings of people, situations, experiences and expectations in action. This makes a child more responsive of what he is observing around him and makes him learn actively. For children play could simply be a way to do things and only by doing things a child can develop and learn. Play provides children with opportunities to engage in social interaction with their family and peers, help developing their language, social skills and their ability to solve problems and help enable them to function as a part of a larger group. Play is an essential part of development in children as it ensures that a child’s mind is constantly engaged, it is aware of others around and active in learning through observation. Engagement in both the real and imagined social and physical world provides children with the chance to experience emotional and bodily sensations (Lester & Russell, 2008). Play can be seen as an instrument that builds and design the structures of the brain in a unique way when considering its relationship to the body and the environment rather than a way of learning specific skills(Lester & Russell, 2008). Through this engagement with the immediate real and the imagined impacts on the development of the brain and effects the way the genes are expressed. Play is an essential tool for children to make sense of their world and to identify their niche within it. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children acknowledges the importance of play in the lives of children and categorizes it as a significant right for every child (International Play Association, n.d.). Play provides numerous opportunities for the children to interact as learners and it also helps stimulate an inclusive learning environment. Through play the child is socialized in to the society, they learn about responsibilities and practice their roles as a part of a learning community. By supporting children’s play the teachers can provide an environment that encourages holistic learning. Responsibilities and the Adult roles are significant in initiating the children to
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Investigation in the importance of play to children's development and learning and its psychological influences Abstract Play is significant to healthy development. Involvement in play brings about social interactions between children and their friends and families…
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