Performance Test 1 Play is purely creative, imaginative and fun. Play engages the child to explore, discover, and learn within their environment that helps shape the child’s intellectually, social, emotional and cognitive development. Play doesn’t have any limits or boundaries which allows the child to use their imagination to the fullest. Play allows children to express themselves in a way that other ways of learning cannot. Play is spontaneous, it is self-chosen and completely unique to the individual child. Playing becomes the most dynamic and prominent way of learning. Children are attracted to the idea of play through personal and internal motivations, and though play is fun; play supports and enhances their cognitive, intellectual, social and emotional development. There are many benefits and functions pertaining to play.
For instance, the act of playing allows children satisfy their need for curiosity as well as giving them the platform to practice valuable skills. Play is the center in which imagination and creativity can be cultivated and expressed. Through play, children gain confidence and insight to themselves; allowing them to increase their self-esteem as well as self-awareness. By using play as a way of learning, children are able to expand their knowledge of the world and environment around them; which is beneficial when developing skills, learning how to problem solve and dealing with new situations Play is an important and necessary part in the development of children as a whole. Playing allows children to learn, grow and change as they age.
Play has served many valuable purposes in a child’s development. The first quote I chose was “Imagination is to children what problem solving it to adults.” (Weininger & Daniel. 1992, Early Learning Program Guide, p. 26). Children learn through play in a special way.
Their minds and way of thinking are still in the developmental stage as they figure out how to process information, gain new knowledge of the world and their surroundings, and how to problem solve. I believe that imagination and creativity play a huge role in how children are able to figure stuff out. They use imagination as a way to make sense of their surroundings and to help them overcome obstacles, which is very valuable as they change, grow and learn. Without play, children wouldn’t be able to perfect their skills and the development of the whole child would be slowed. The second quote I chose was “Play enhances children’s social and emotional development, including self-esteem, empathy, co-operation and respect for one another” (Role of Play in Early Childhood Education, 2006, p.48).
This quote sums up very well what I tried to get across in my above paragraph. Play is the base of childhood development and learning. It is able to enhance areas such as their social skills, emotional development, cognitive development and intellectual development.
Playing promotes positive ways of skill development; they are able to gain confidence in themselves, expand their creativity and imagination, practice problem solving and figuring out how their environment works. It enhances their abilities in a fun way that they can go above and beyond and succeed at. By playing, children are able to meet their social-emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual needs. From these 4 areas of Holistic learning, we are able to help them in their developmental journey. Children are also able to meet their needs for language and literacy development through these areas. When children engage in active or physical play, they are able to maintain and improve their physical and mental health. By engaging in being active it will help the child develop their fine motor skills, gain coordination, and become more aware of their bodies. In working towards a child’s physical development, playing can help gain use of their bodies and explore and interact with their environment.
Dramatic/Fantasy play allows children to engage in personal expression through art, and imaginative means, which helps them develop spiritually. Children will learn different express themselves I artistic modes by being creative in forms such as dancing, singing and visual expression. Areas of play, such as group and cooperative play help with fulfilling a child’s social-emotional needs. It gives them the chance to mix with other children and provides them with opportunities for developing social skills.
It helps children practice having control of their emotions and in turn, will help them enhance their problem-solving skills. It allows them to become more confident, and develop a high self-esteem. Play also helps engage kids in helping with their intellectual development as well. Play encourages divergent and flexible thinking. It lets children develop their language and literacy skills. Play gives children an understanding of reality and fantasy worlds, as well as helping them make sense of the world around them.
Therefore, play supports the holistic development of the child by encouraging their social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual needs. It also helps promote the development of their creativity, imagination, language and literacy skills as well. The first quote I chose was “Child’s play is the “central force in a young children’s development.”(Van Hoorn et al.
, 2003, p.3)(Role Play in Early Childhood Education Second Edition for Siast, pg.47). I believe this quote to be very true in summing up what I wrote previously about a child’s holistic development. Children are able to learn and develop a great deal through playing.
Playing allows children to learn and develop in areas that other learning simply cannot. Playing is a way that children are able to freely express themselves through physical, cognitive, intellectual and creative ways, which is important in the development of the whole child. Without playing, a child wouldn’t be able to develop their skills nearly as well, so it is very important for a child to be able to play. The second quote I chose was “Play is the fundamental means by which children gather and process information, learn new skills, and practice old ones” (Spodek, 1986, Role of Play in Early Childhood Education textbook, p. 47).
Holistic Education is a way that children are educated and able to learn how to develop their social-emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual needs. I feel like they are able to best learn these skills through different forms of playing. While playing can sometimes be frowned upon, it is mostly because people are not aware of the truly amazing benefits it can have on a child and their development. Play is fundamental to achieving the development of the whole child. When I was a child, most of my play consisted of solitary play or fantasy play in a group setting.
I would play make-believe, play out my life as a Hogwarts student, ‘capture Pokémon’ around town, create fantasy worlds, draw and color, play video games with my siblings; that’s just to list a few examples. It was in my younger years that I developed my passion for creativity and my strong imagination. Even now as an adult I still take part in creative play in the forms of drawing, doing my makeup, coloring, and writing. My imagination and creative outlets have always been my favorite way of escaping the struggles of reality; from when I was a small child to now as a young adult. Playing, especially by myself, was very therapeutic; I was a very anxious child and play allowed me to distract and comfort myself in a positive way. Generally, I had an overall positive experience with play, and from that, I was able to develop social skills and a decent sense of myself.
Through play, I was able to learn about myself and what sort of things I liked and disliked. I formed friendships and learned how to interact and respond to other children. I was able to develop problem-solving skills and increase my confidence in other skills as well.