Play is thinking time for young children. It is language time, problem solving time, memory time, planning time, and investigating time. It is organization-of-ideas time, when the young child uses her mind, body, and social skills in response to the stimuli she has met.
PLAY IS LEARNING! Children make their own choices, develop social emotional skills, develop critical thinking skills, and develop problem solving skills. Play is the foundation for learning.
What do the Experts Say About Play?
Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, all Child Development Theorists, attached great importance to the role of play in children’s development. Hundreds of studies have established that play – both spontaneous and adult-guided – are vital catalysts for intellectual, linguistic, emotional, social, moral, motor, and creative development.
Dr. Stuart Brown, Founder, National Institute for Play: “Just an hour of vigorous play – running, chasing, games like tag or dodge ball, and even dealing with or avoiding being excluded from these activities – can provide intense skill learning. Physical activity is known to lessen the symptoms of mild ADHD, and is associated with much lower incidences of childhood obesity. Active kids are more facile intellectually and perform better academically in the long term.”