Role Of Playing On The Childhood
Play is crucial for the overall development of children, as it contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Play provides children opportunities to learn about their environment by learning about different materials and textures, such as to build a sandcastle they will need to use wet sand, as dry sand will not form correctly. Through play children gain the use of their fine motor skills by playing with toys and equipment by pressing buttons or using scissors to cut paper for example. Locomotive movements and gross motor skills are developed through children being able to move during play by throwing a ball, riding a tricycle and building their coordination through balancing on a balance beam.
Children will play with other children and begin to socialize by playing together and joining in each others games, such as putting on voices and using their imaginations by pretending to be doctors, teachers or parents. Through play children will also begin to learn how to take turns, share with one another and increase their patience. Overall play is a pleasurable experience for children, which they enjoy and can give them a great sense of achievement, building resilience through risk taking and challenge, as well as problem solving and how to deal with new and existing situations. Children build confidence through mastering a skill such as being able to cross a balance beam, which gives children the encouragement to explore and try more challenges, this then boosts their self esteem for them to try something a little more difficult next time.
In my setting I have found ‘free play’ takes up the majority of the children’s day, as this involves children learning through play where many activities are set out for the children to selectively chose, try or watch. Children have activity stations at many different tables, this involves a creative corner where children will have pieces of paper, pens, scissors and glue typically also stencils, pieces of tissue paper, play dough and glitter are added for the children, this then helps to enhance their fine motor skills by either manipulating play dough or improving their scissor skills by cutting around shapes. Then there are tables for numeracy and literacy such as ‘counting teddies’ which involves the children counting the teddies, then matching them to their correct colors. Alphabet letter charts are also used to help children be able to write their names independently, and to learn the correct formation of alphabetical letters.