Children grow healthy when they engage in play, either by themselves or with other children. Children engage in different forms of play. Play not only improves a child’s physical development, but it is also important in their social and emotional development, as well. In addition, it enables them to improve their creativity. Learning does not have to take place in the classroom, but children can find a learning opportunity in different situations. Most play takes place outdoors, which enables the children to learn outside their home environment, and interact with other children, other than the members of their own families. Researchers have realized the value of play in children’s life. Play should not be viewed as something that children engage in when in recess, but it should be part of the learning process. Play is an integral part of learning, which enhances the children’s creativity, and it contributes to the emotional, motor, cognitive, and social development of children.
Children enhance their creativity when they play. Play enables the children to be resourceful. This happens when the children are looking for new games to play, and when they are looking for solutions to their problems. As children grow, they change the games they play, and they develop games that are more complex depending on their level of maturity and growth. Play enhances the children’s motor development. Children play different games, some of which involve different play instruments. They develop physically, when they jump and run around, or when they climb different places as part of their experiences in play. They become physically fit, and they learn eye and hand coordination and they learn how to balance their bodies. Play enables children to learn how to improve their hand coordination, though different activities such as painting and drawing.
Play contributes to the cognitive development of children. Children understand things better when they experience them. Children prefer moving around, as their mode of learning, as this enables them to retain much of what they learn. Children learn different things when they play together. As they play with blocks and other play items, they learn different shapes and colors. They develop the rules of the game, and they play by these rules. They are also able to recognize rules in other settings, as well. As children interact with each other during playtime, they gain more confidence as they share their opinions concerning different issues. They learn different math and science lessons during play (Sutterby, 2012).
Play enhances children’s social development. As the children interact with each other during playtime, they learn how to develop social skills, which enables them to form social relationships. Children learn cooperation, and they learn how to get along with others when they play together. They sometimes conflict, but they find ways of resolving their problems. The children learn other social lessons such as sharing resources, and giving each other an opportunity to play. They learn how to communicate with each other, in addition to negotiation skills. Play contributes to the emotional development of children (Essa, 2010). Children are able to control their temperaments when they are together. Thus, it is common to see children who once cried all the time, bullied others, or were angry all the time, change their attitude and behavior when they engage with other children in play. Play enables children to express themselves freely.
Building blocks are one of the most influential learning tools that teachers use, and they can be used as part of instructional strategies. The building blocks come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The children make mistakes as they try putting the blocks together. Soon, they learn which blocks are similar, and which can fit into each other. The children learn the names of these sizes and shapes. Teachers can provide puzzles, which students can put together. These puzzles depend on the children’s age and learning ability (Zigler et al., 2004).
Essa, L. E. (2010). Introduction to early childhood education. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
Sutterby, A. J. (2012). Early education in a global context. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing
Zigler, E., Singer, G. D., & Bishop-Josef, J. S. (2004). Children’s play: The roots of reading. Washington, DC: Zero to Three Press