The Importance Of Play On Child Development

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Researches and many child development theorists suggests play to be an increasingly more varied and complex activity with significant influence on the physical, cognitive and social development of children (Kearns 2010). A balance between both types of play, structured and unstructured, can significantly benefit children in their development. Children attempt achieving pre-existing objectives set by an adult in structured play while establishing their own objectives in free/unstructured play (Pettersen 2013). Many researches have shown play to enhance children 's motor skills along with their physical well-being (Kearns 2010). In addition, many experiments conducted suggests that group play facilitate development of basic social skills …show more content…
Many theorists and researchers, including Sandra Russ suggested that in play, children experience as well as learn to express various emotional thoughts and feelings such as happiness, joy, pain and jealousy while developing a sense of control and regulation over them (Bodrova et al. 2013; Russ & Wallace 2013) Continuous experience of both positive and negative affect expressions during play will enhance the regulation of these expressions leading to more adaptive functioning in children that can aid in better self- management in the hardships of life (Fiorelli & Russ 2012). In addition, many studies have shown that playing experiences are associated with reduced distress and flexibility and hence increased cognitive coping (Fiorelli & Russ 2012). For instance, children involved frequently in fantasy and group play are capable of developing variety of coping strategies in response to a threatening situation without being distressed which requires control of impulse and aggression (Fiorelli & Russ 2012). Furthermore, one of the child theorists, Erik Erikson’s idea of trust versus mistrust suggested that as children begin to interact and engage with the others through social play, they develop a sense of …show more content…
Many theorists suggested that pretence in play and group play helps children to assume new roles and distinguish the self from the others by self- realising their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses and desires compared to others (Henricks 2014). Play expose children to various challenges, tensions, and/or conflicts encouraging them to engage in self-directed manipulation of problems in the material world, hence building up their self-confidence (Henricks 2014). Furthermore, play environment provides children with an opportunity for self-directed inquiry through which they can build up

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