Annelise Bilger, MFTI
It seems that the importance of play is showing up everywhere from parenting magazines to books, this word seems to be the new ‘it’ word! So what is the big deal about play? We all remember doing it as kids and certainly have fun memories of it, but what about play makes it so important? Well, it turns out that play is the vehicle in which children learn about their world. Through play, children learn cognitive skills, their physical abilities, increase vocabulary, social skills, as well as literacy. All of this through play you ask? Yes. Through the next few newsletters, we’re going to take a deeper look how play relates to toddlers.
Play is considered the work of children, specifically between the ages of 2 -5. The National Association for the Education of Young Children made play a criterion in order for accreditation. “They call it their work,” says Peter Pizzolongo, associate director for professional development at NAEYC. “When they’re learning and playing with joy, then it’s a positive experience. They develop a positive approach to learning.”
Preschoolers use play as their learning foundation. Unorganized play is especially important for these young individuals as it helps them interact with their peers to create roles and rules that allow their imagination to create themes. This type of role playing with their peers helps children delay gratification while helping them understand the perspective of another child which leads to empathy. Social maturity will continue to build as the child continues to play.
Stay tuned for the next newsletter in which we’ll discuss more about the importance of preschoolers and play!