Children learn to interact with other people and solve problems through playing. Playing helps them to develop important life skills, enhances their social development and further develops their level of imagination and creativity. It is also important as it contributes to the emotional wellbeing of a child. According to a research done by Jona Anderson of the Montana State University (2010), play enables children to be creative and at the same time develops their imagination, reasoning, emotional strength and agility. Keneth further talks of play being beneficial to the development of the child as it helps them master the world around them. Play helps them overcome their fears as they try to emulate adults. They also acquire new competencies that increase their confidence in handling real life situations.
Child driven play fosters the development of crucial decision making skills, develop and carry out activities at their own pace, discover their own talents and areas of interest, and eventually discover their passions and what they will like to in the future.
Play is important in any learning environment. Within the classroom setting, it helps learners develop important team building skills that help them solve problems together and increases their levels of creativity, and the level of cooperation amongst them. Through playing together, learners learn to solve common problems collectively. For example, when playing using puzzles, learners develop problem solving abilities. Through playing together in a learning environment, children are able to conquer personal fears of interacting or socializing with one another.
Playing with books and other games that show pictures within the classroom setting helps the learners to build on their vocabulary and leads to a further understanding of the world around them (Anderson, 2010).
At home, it is important for the parents to support play related activities. Play does not only help children to develop problem solving skills, it also connects the children to the world around them and helps build a lasting bond. Playing at home enables the children learn to share values and increases communication that is important in their development both at home and the outside world. It is therefore important that parents support play activities within the home environment to further develop skills of their children.
Anderson, Jona. The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Development. Montana State University, 2010. Web. 3 Mar. 2013. http://msuextension.org/publications/HomeHealthandFamily/MT201003HR.pdf