Play is essential for all children in relation to their learning and development. It is a way of relaxing and a ‘time out’ from hard-core learning since play can be thought of as a fun way of learning. Play can help children to express their emotions and help them to adapt to life. Sue Palmer, a literacy consultant, has stated that “Play can mean anything that isn’t work.” One can take this to mean that play is something fun and has nothing to do with a child’s education but it is giving a child a break from their structured learning from say reading and writing. This is just a more active way of learning rather than handing out a pen and paper to the children. In some forms playing can be thought of a thinking process in that for example if a child was playing a game of some sort and did not understand what happens; it makes them question what they are doing.
Children can learn and play at the same time, for example, a child is put in charge of a little shop that they have in their classroom. The other children are allowed to buy goods such as fruits or sweets from the shop using the money that their parents had given them earlier this morning. The child in charge of the shop will have to serve the children which will involve taking the money, calculating the total and ensuring that the correct change is given back. This is learning but in a way that involves taking an active role in learning as well as being fun. Therefore, one can say confidently that the children are ‘playing’ (Moyles, RJ Page 3)
Parents play a crucial role in a child’s learning and development (Moyles, RJ Page 187) and therefore they must not forget that play is a necessity for the children and so they must recognise this and ensure that they never prevent they child from playing. The main form of play that the educationalists perceive is imaginative play. They say that it can get them thinking very crucially and enhances their abilities such as creativity and problem solving. (Moyles, RJ Page 36)
There are many advantages of why children need to play. The children enjoy it; they enjoy showing others what they can do thus motivating themselves. For example if a child is given the task to paint, they may use various colours to make it look colourful and pretty in return get a praise from the teacher or another adult, say a parent. This is something that the child responds to and so this form. Play can help the child engage with their learning. Positive feedback helps stimulate a students learning and makes the student feel competent in what they are doing. This interlinks with motivation and therefore one can confidently say that motivation plays an essential role in learning. The practitioner needs to ensure that the children are engaged in activities and teachers need to come up with.
“Despite the fun and learning that can come about through free play, some play can become very repetitive.” (Moyles, RJ Page 19) Therefore the...