For Physical Development

"Tip 142: July 2020 - Enhancing Play: Play is Children’s Work "
   July, 2020

Website Educational Tip for Physical Development

Play according to John Dewey’s concept is that “Play is children’s work; it
allows for practice, and dealing with feelings.” While Stuart Brown,
President of the National Institute for Play and author of

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates
the Soul

stated that “Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens; it
renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.”
He goes on to say “Humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are
more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart
adults – and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.”

There are four play categories of play:

1.) Solitary Play: when a child plays alone

2.) Parallel Play: when a child plays side by side

3.) Associative Play: when a child plays in a group, near other children,
but alone

4.) Cooperative Play: when a child plays joining a group and sharing ideas
with the same activity, and cooperating with others

Solitary Play-Symbolic Play

This kind of play begins around 12 months of age when children pretend to
eat and sleep. These behaviors mark the beginnings of representational
thought, the first sign that the child is beginning to construct mental
symbols and images of the real world of substances, objects, and actions.
Adults should read to all children every day and with infants they don’t
need to read every word but to read the pictures and talk about what is
going on and about what is going to happen.

Parallel Play-Associative Play

Early pretend play behaviors become more stable and elaborate during the
second year. The child discovers that a doll can be fed or put to bed as if
it were a baby. By age three play becomes more complex, and play with
others is more important.

Cooperative Play

Play becomes a vehicle through which preschoolers activate their memories.
Studies have shown that young children were much more likely to remember
objects when they had played with them than when they had studied pictures
of the same toys. Children learn through meaningful interaction with their
environment. They also use play to work though their internal and
interpersonal conflicts, and they become more able to pursue the skills
necessary for later learning. Children who are permitted to engage in free
play activities of their own choice gain a sense of autonomy and
effectiveness; become motivated to mastery; develop such attributes as
self‑direction, trust in themselves, self­ assurance, and a feeling of

Play can help learning, memory, and well-being. It sculpts responsive,
socially adept, and flexible brains. Play can make us smarter and more
adaptable all our lives. (Stuart Brown)

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