What is Play?
February 26th, 2013
This is an interesting article on the importance of learning through play. Please read and feel free to comment and share this article.
“Historically, play has been viewed as a frivolous break from important endeavors like working and learning when, in fact, a child’s ability to fully and freely engage in play is essential to their learning, productivity, and overall development,” observe Steve Gross and Rebecca Cornelli Sanderson in their article, “Play is the Way,” in the Beginnings section of the September/October 2012 Exchange magazine. They continue:
“A natural drive to play is universal across all young mammals. Children from every society on earth spend time playing. Why? Because play is a crucial vehicle for exploring and learning, developing new skills, and connecting with others. From an infant’s first smile to a preschooler’s careful construction of a tower, children use play to engage with and learn about their world. Play has key neurological, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physiological benefits for children’s health. Most importantly, play is the way in which children form loving, trusting relationships.
“People often think of play in terms of specific ‘play activities’ such as tag, soccer, or playing in the sandbox. In contrast, they think of work in terms of activities like raking leaves, cooking, cleaning, or doing homework. It is our belief that any activity, as long as it is done with a playful approach, is play. In other words, it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it. Playfulness is the expression of our natural drive to freely and joyfully explore, engage, and connect with the surrounding world.”