The paper “ The Role of Play in the Early Years of Learning” is a convincing variant of an annotated bibliography on education. The article "The importance of play" defines play as any activity done by someone free of choice without forcing him to do for his/her enjoyment. The three criteria given by this article for an activity to be termed as a play are; it should be free of choice by an individual, it should for personal enjoyment, and the focus is on the activity itself rather than its outcomes. These three criteria are quite important to the play process and connecting children with their learning.
Moreover, play activity has its own characteristics. Some of these characteristics play; it is self-directed, self-selected, open-ended, voluntary, enjoyable, motivating flexible, etc. This article also looks at the history of play. It states that play especially in children is as old as humankind. However, it was included in the school curriculum almost 150 years ago where the Froebel’ s Kindergartens incorporated playing materials in the school curriculum to support the learning of children. Later on, the MacMillan sister in England incorporated open-ended games as an essential part of learning in school programs.
When the Kindergarten programs were introduced in North America, it prompted the scholars to ponder about the nature of the plays that ought to be included in the preschool programs. Modern theories about learning see the plays as the process that tends to support young children in making sense of their environment. The general role of play in children is that it helps children in cognitive development. According to Piaget, there are several stages of cognitive play.
The characteristics of these stages of cognitive play include functional play, constructive play, dramatic, and game with rules. This implies that when a child play, his metal cognitive prepares for these. Another role of play helps children to develop physical development. Physical exercise is whereby the body muscles are exercised and grow normally. The bones develop well in the body and enhancing smooth blood flow. The body exerciser helps to eliminate obesity a condition characterized by the accumulation of body fats under the skin and tissues bringing health complications.
Moreover, play assist a lot in social development. Children learn social skills such as relating to other children and elders. This is very important for their growth since a human being is a social being who needs to associates with others every time. Moreover, this article also enumerates the role and responsibilities of adults in children play. First, adults in children play are to ensure children’ s safety. Adults always guide the children not to engage in dangerous play that can harm them. Secondly, elders are there to value and appreciate the play children after engaging in.
They encourage the children to continue and direct them to play a certain game knowing well that a particular skill is being mastered when the game is played repeatedly by children. Another role of adults in children’ s play is they create a conducive environment where children would play from so that they can learn something that is meaningful They organize the environment by putting their playing material, providing physical space and other resources to enhance a positive outcome in playing. Adults also engage children in meaningful conversations that would, later on, increase their learning.
Moreover, when adults interact with children during playing they increase the understanding of children’ s interests, knowledge, and language development.
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