Development of young children through playing have become a favorite subject of the present age parents frequently participate with their children in playing both indoor and outdoor games. Young children love to play, and playing games is an important part of their lives. Playing include variety of activities like having fun with friends, selecting their own activities and going outdoor for physical exertion. Playing can be funny or serious, exhaustive or relaxing, amusing or solemn, peaceful or deafening. Children play for various reasons. Children explore new things through playing, and, sometimes, they exercise to practice a particular skill. Playing helps in building strong relationship. Most of the times, children play just for fun and enjoyment. They create situations, play them and learn through different events and gain experience. Children require time to play and like to have space at home and in the neighborhood as they like to play with other children. Children need playing gadgetry and toys to play and employ. They feel like to play with different equipment and toys at different times. At times, parents worry as if their children are not learning anything and they are only playing. Structured guidance and professional teaching of young children are essential, however, playing is a process of learning.
The purpose of this research is to explore in detail the concept of child development through playing in detail covering different aspect of the issue. The question of how and what the children learn in the process of playing will also be deliberated.
The main hypothesis is that playing both indoor and outdoor games is essential for the young children’s development
Children development through playing is thought to be a lesser education, and people do not attach much attention to the development of children through playing games. With regards to this aspect, the major question is: Why is play important in children’s development? Does playing help in children development?
The type of development that takes place among the young children through playing is an important aspect to understand in order to know the effectiveness of children development through playing. Here the question to be explored is: what kinds of play do the children play and what all do the young children learn through playing?
The play has a strong connection with the health of the children. Similarly technology and community has a strong role to play in children development through playing. The final question here will be; what are the effects of technology and community on the children development through playing and how does it affect the child’s health.
Approaches to Children Development through Playing
According the conventional thinking, children must go to school in order to obtain the necessary formal education. Parents of the older times did not think of educating their children through playing as they though the formal education is a must for development of the children. The approach of children education and development through playing is a rather modern approach.
Why is Play Important
It is an established fact since centuries that children like to play all the times, more energetically in the evening and less, at other times. Play is an activity that stands out the ordinary life and absorbs the player intensely. All kind of plays, play a crucial role in children’s development. It forms a lens through which the child sees the world and experience it. If children are deprived of the play in their childhood, they suffer during the childhood and in their future as well. With parents’ support, availability of space and sports gear, the children have more chances of becoming healthy and happy members of the society. In the words of play theorist Mr. Brian Sutton Smith, “the human child is born with a huge excess of neuronal which if not used will die. The neuronal help children to understand, speak and learn while play.”
Play’s help in Children Development
Few children like to play more enthusiastically and confidently in the outdoor environment, while there are children who like to play inside. There has to be a connection between the indoor and outside area where children play so as to connect the activities and make the learning process continuous. Outdoor gets preference over indoor playing due to the reason that all indoor games can be played outdoors. In outdoor, activities can be planned and played at larger scale, and bigger objects can be used to make the learning process a success. The factor that effects the outdoor play is the weather, and people need to have appropriate clothes for the children of the particular weather of the place (Sean Brotherson, 2009). Different type of weather helps and facilitate learning through playing. A windy weather can help learning of the children about streamers, bells, windmills, kites, weather chart and relevant picture books. A rainy day can help learning about umbrellas, colanders, toy ferries, toy ducks, container for gathering water for recycling, containers for measuring rainfall and a relevant picture book. A covered area to play and practice during rainy weather is essential to ensure the continuation of learning process. More space available for playing means more freedom for the children and number of games and thus more learning.
What Kinds of Play do the Children Play?
Different types of play engage children in many activities. A creative play involves the children by using their bodies and material to make things in order to share ideas and feelings. Children enjoy the creativity through working with play dough, dancing, playing with discarded material while using their own imaginations. Certain games with rule also help children learn to abide by the rules in their lives. Initially, children have their own rules of play and they are flexible. Language play involves the sound and words played by children. It includes the sounds that are spontaneous and un-rehearsed mostly with rhythm and repetitive action. Physical play involves children practicing the bodily movements and their control on them. It includes the whole body and limb movement, their coordination and maintaining a balance. Exploratory play involves children using their physical skills to feel doing things themselves (Brewer, 2001). The fantasy play, pretend, dramatic or make believe play involves using their imaginations in which as the children grows, his imaginations become more complex. The children use their language skills to shift from thinking in real to thinking in abstract. Children make menus and lists and pay for their cinema tickets. Small world play involves children to use a small scale depiction of the real things like animals and vehicles. Socio-dramatic play involves the children playing with other children that provide them the opportunity to make friends, develop communication skills and negotiate with others on conflict areas.
What all do the Young Children Learn through Playing?
Children learn to play through different actions performed by them. When they grin and chuckle at people, they learn how to involve others in communication. When the children shake a rattle, they learn to distinguish sounds. By throwing the toy on the floor, they learn about the gravitational pull. Rolling a ball tells them how to control their muscles and by cuddling a stuffed animal, they rely on their ability to seek comfort. When the children built something with blocks, they understand the concept of size, symmetry, weight, balance and number and coordination (Mildred, 1932). When children dress up and play house, they learn self-help skills and to create their own world. When children play a game of being a firefighter, they learn about social roles and how to work with others and communicate with them.
Proposed Research Methodology
In methodological terms, the basic idea of the research is to identify the type of learning young children achieve through playing. The other thought is to see the parents’ participation in the child development through learning.
The Types of Young children Development through playing.
There are different types of play used for children’s early learning and development. Aistear identifies four themes (Aistear, 2011) of well-being, identity and belonging, communicating, and exploring and thinking. The four themes are for different age groups starting from babies, the toddlers and the young children. Theme one: Well-being, Aim 1 and Learning goal 1 relates to the age group of babies. The theme aims at the reflection of “Do I know what playful routines children enjoy at home, and how can I use these to make their transition between settings easier”. Second theme: is Well-being, Aim 2 and Learning goal 2 relates to the toddlers and aims at reflecting “Do all children in my setting have the opportunity to get involved in and enjoy the play?” Third theme: is Well-being, Aim 3 and Learning goal 3 relates to the young children and aims at reflecting “How often do I encourage children to get involved in projects on things that interest them?” Fourth theme: is Well-being, Aim 4 and Learning goal 4 relates to the young children and aims at reflecting “To what extent do I encourage children to think of their individual strength when they take on the role in their play?” The four themes relate to different age groups with different reflections and are help tools for the parents to enhance the learning process of their children through playing.
Parents’ Participation in the Child Development through Learning
Adults’ role in children’s learning through playing is important as they provide the required support to the children through provision of required gadgetry for playing. Adults also help children in developing their skills. Adult role is very tricky as they should understand when to interfere and when to stay back. An adult understands the potentials required to develop skills in a particular game and the importance of playing for the development of the children. An adult plans the play for the children and creates the indoor or outdoor environment to ensure the possibility of a wide range of activities for the children. He ensures that the games planned are safe, enjoyable and challenging for the children (Ellis, 1973). He structures the environment both indoor and outdoor to exploit the children’s potentials, strengths, interests and needs. He continuously improves the environment to expand the child development through playing and gives children the choices about what to play and when to play. The adult also plays a supporting role and talks to the children about their play, recognizes the efforts and respects their choices for the play. There may be a conflict sometimes between the choice of play of what the adult want the child to play and what the child himself wants to play. Adult needs to resolve such conflict amicably and tactfully. He is supportive without un-necessary interference and participates in the play when invited by the children. He understand the children’s feelings and supports children interaction with each other. He protects children against harm during the play and prevents any fights between the children. He helps children in dealing with the difficult situations. The adult reviews the whole play of the children and observes the effects of indoor and outdoor play on the children. He identifies the type of play liked by the children and encourages them to exploit their potential in the field of their liking. He keeps a record of the development of the children through playing and uses the information for planning the future play.
Communicating the Results
What are the Effects of Technology and Community on the Children Development through Playing?
Play is important for the development of the child as it contributes to the cognitive, social, physical and emotional health of the children. Playing is the most important part of children development, and it needs due attention by the parents around the world. Only the academics can do no good to the character building and personality development of children if not duly supported and influenced by playing.
Role of Technology
Technology plays an important role in children development. The children of today take much of advantage of their development from technology. Through technology a child mentally grows up at the very young age and knows much more than even a young man of the age of 50 years back. Thus technology plays a significant role in children development through playing.
Role of Community
Community in which the children live in has a lot to offer towards children development through playing. A children of one community that is more into sports activities will have much better playing abilities as compared to a young boy from a community that does not play much of sports. Community thus plays a major role in the children development through playing.
Role of Parents
Parent has a major role to play in ensuring the child development through play as they are the first playmate of their child. Parent’s involvement helps children being more creative and playful, and if parents participate in the play, it will bring a lot of joy to the child. It is not true for parents that they are childish and not grown-ups if they participate with their children in the play. Parent can observe closely during the play to understand the child’s interest in particular activities and play their role when a child needs assistance. To show an interest in what child is playing, parents can join the child and encourage him to play. There can be many ways to play with a particular playing gadget so parent may help the child in finding out new ways of playing the same thing to show their creativity. Parent must keep in mind the age group of their child and the learning through playing should start in a sequential way and move gradually towards the tougher things as the child develops the skills on initial playing gadgetries. In whole, parents have the most important responsibility of development of their child, both at home and school along with the teachers.
How does it affect the Child’s Health?
Roles played by technology, community and parents in improving the mental and physical health of their children is important to understand. It can surely be enhanced by following schemes / methods:-
- Diversity of play. There is a requirement of availability of a variety of play as it leads to different types of learning experiences. Story books help with concentration, balls help developing coordination and motor skills. Dress up play teaches social interaction.
- Sufficient time for play. As the children need time to understand the activity and then to explore the same, therefore, parents must give adequate time to the children. Children feel frustrated if interrupted in-between the play or if they get less time. Making a pyramid out of blocks takes time and inventing a game with the neighborhood children takes time, therefore, children needs more time to play.
- Explore the play with children. Children want to play their game under their own directions, however, but can gain new ideas with the help from parents. Model playing a pyramid for the children will attract their attention and enhance their learning.
- Safe toys. Parents must ensure that the gadgetry for the play is safe and does not hurt the children. Safety should be a parent’s major concern, and they should screen the children toys for cracks and sharp edges to avoid harm to the children.
- Positive play with others. Parents must help their children to learn to have a positive play interaction with other children. Parents must assist the children to engage with others in social interaction.
Conclusion. Study shows that children who are more active in different types of play are more cooperative and joyful and has more chances of learning through playing. These children have more capacity to share, more creative and willing to take turns during the play. They have more knowledge and vocabulary as compared to the children who do not actively participate in the play and are less involved in imaginative plays. Play offers the basis of learning for the child and opens the doors to the world of opportunities about learning and further progression in the life. Play is the children’s labor and if children are effective in their first work, they will be successful in their whole life. Parent need to support their children in play and understand the importance of the play. They must engage themselves in the play with the children and encourage them to interact with other children and adults to ensure a balanced personality development of their children. Parent must sing and dance with the children, built towers, paint, laugh, run and watch their children’s learning reveal.
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