Let me play...
Why is free, unstructured play so important?
- Play is important to healthy development of the brain;
- Undirected play helps children learn how to work collaboratively, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and learn self-advocacy skills;
- When play is child-driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover areas of interest on their own, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue;
- When play is controlled by adults - such as in organized sports - children have to follow to adult rules and concerns (like winning) and lose some of the benefits play offers them, particularly in developing creativity, leadership and group skills.
- Play offers parents a wonderful opportunity to engage fully with their children;
- Play and unscheduled time that allows for peer interactions is an important component of social-emotional learning; and
- Free, child-driven, creative play protects against the effects of pressure and stress.
Constructive and manipulative play is suitable for all stages of play as it can be an idividual activity such as a jig-saw, or something children do alongside each other such as building with bricks, or as a group such as a large floor puzzle. Constructive play helps develop fine and gross motor skills.
Through creative play children learn about the properties of material. They see and create pictures, patterns, shapes and symbols. Creative play develops fine maniplutive skills and allows children to experiment with mixing mediums, colour and textures. Every peice is a true masterpiece and should be seen as one.
Through imaginative play children practise and come to terms withdifferent aspects of daily life.
Imaginative play develops self expression as well as giving children the opportunity to explore their experiences. Children solve problems through imaginative play, as they act out things that have happened or could happen. Imaganitive play helps see things from others' poi9nt of view. It develops social skills, fine and gross motor skills fine manipulaiton skills.
Physical play is not only important to promote good health in encouraging children to eat and sleep well, but also develop self-confidence and physical competence. Physical play develops both fine and gross motor skills, muscle control and spatial awareness