The Importance of Play in the Early Years
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to run sessions discussing one of the most important elements of early childhood development ‘Play’. If you have joined one of the previous sessions then please feel free to join again as we will look at some different aspects to what play can mean to a childs development.
When parents ask me what their children should achieve by the end of the Foundation Stage my response is always the same “for them to be happy and confident”. But how do teachers embed the skills and knowledge needed to exceed academically whilst allowing them to flourish as confident and happy individuals? The simplest answer is by encouraging children through a medium that they are already experts in “Play”.
A lack of play in early childhood development can lead to ‘under stimulation’ which can then result in detrimental consequences; physical, mental and academic. Play not only helps children make sense of the world around them, but also allows them to develop high-level communication skills and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle through increased physical activity.
Play is often seen by adults as something that we just simply ‘enjoy’. Some also believe that it has very little contributing factor to the success of a child academically, despite the fact that for many years, academics have known that we learn through play as a way of acting out experiences and situations that otherwise would be difficult to recreate let alone master.
The English educator Pie Corbett, has often been quoted as saying “If you can’t say it, you cannot write it” this is very true and highlights the importance of speaking and listening skills. It is also then true to say ‘you cannot say it if you have not experienced it’ and play allows us to experience complex situations and use the language associated to different abstract topics.
If you want to gain more insights on how “Play” is used in school and at home to teach concepts, ideas and skills to infants and toddlers, then join my Live Online Webinar on Monday, November 1, 2021, from 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM on Facebook and Youtube Live.
Mr. David Williams, Head of Primary, Regent International School