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Child’s Play: Is There More To It?

Robert Odell has gained invaluable life experiences by traveling and interacting with various cultures.

Every Baby Creature Loves to Play

Every creature in life starts out loving to play. Play is an activity done for enjoyment and recreation. Many have witnessed baby kittens, young puppies, little otters, lions, cubs, juvenile elephants, primates, and many critters, frolicking and having fun in the art of play.

Seeds of playing, when well planted, yield profound and practical fruit. The 1921 Nobel Prize winner and physicist Albert Einstein described playing as "the highest form of research." The activity of playing is good for society at large because it helps to produce well-developed adults.

A Child Learns by Playing

A child can adequately learn, develop new skills, and relate to others through play. When a child learns by playing, it is called play-based learning.

Every creature in life starts out loving to play.

Every creature in life starts out loving to play.

Childhood Games Help Us to Grow

While growing up, I remember running and playing in the schoolyard. Although I was short, I was a swift runner as a youngster. Only a few kids my age could beat me running.

While growing up, I remember running and playing in the schoolyard.

While growing up, I remember running and playing in the schoolyard.

I remember having a friend who was even shorter than me, but he was a fast runner. We all enjoyed seeing him run and marveled at how quickly his legs could move. I still harbor memories of how, as youngsters, we spent a lot of time running around in the neighborhood with friends, throwing rocks, and enjoying childhood games. My younger brother was a very skilled rock thrower. He eventually became a pitcher on our little league baseball team.

Playing Helps to Build Skills

I grew, developed, and gained many valuable skills by playing.

My siblings and I gained lifelong skills by:

  • riding bicycles
  • roller skating
  • jumping rope
  • playing baseball and basketball and
  • playing checkers and other games.

Play is the highest form of research.

— Albert Einstein

Childhood Games Help to Build Character

Some may think of early childhood activities as "child's play." However, childhood frolicking helps build character and skills that last a lifetime. Some of those skills can prove highly profitable.

Antoinette Taylor and Angela Searcy are Educational consultants in Illinois. They teach that play-based learning is one of the best gifts we can offer our children.

Antoinette Taylor and Angela Searcy are Educational consultants in Illinois. They teach that play-based learning is one of the best gifts we can offer our children.

Antoinette Taylor and Angela Searcy are Educational consultants in Illinois. They teach that play-based learning is one of the best gifts we can offer our children.

The Benefits of Playing by Learning

Taylor and Searcy teach that play-based learning benefits include:

  • Better cognitive skills
  • Oral language development
  • Self-regulation
  • Pro-social skills
  • Memory development
  • Academic performance
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Play allows freedom of movement, which is essential for learning and development.

Play-based learning has many benefits for children.

Play-based learning has many benefits for children.

Playing Is Good for a Child’s Brain

Playing is good for a child's brain. MRIs show that a child's whole brain lights up when they play.

Playing produces:

  • better concentration
  • goal-orientated attention
  • working memory
  • impulse control
  • emotional control
  • creativity
  • a love of learning and
  • problem-solving skills.

Play-based learning builds better brains, allowing children to handle whatever future challenges await them.

Play-based learning builds better brains, allowing children to handle whatever future challenges await them.

Play-based learning builds better brains, allowing children to handle whatever future challenges await them.

Children Grow in Knowledge by Playing

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget was famous for his study of the thought patterns in children.

Piaget revealed that, while playing children:

  • Grow in knowledge
  • Make discoveries
  • Combine new information with previous information
  • Develop conflict resolution skills
  • Develop an overall positive approach to learning
While playing, children's knowledge grows.

While playing, children's knowledge grows.

Lack of Play Is Not Good

Studies show that children deprived of proper playtime:

  • gravitate toward violent crimes
  • have reduced muscle fiber development
  • have decreased adequate brain functioning
  • have diminished communication and social skills
  • have hampered problem-solving skills.
Communication and social skills diminish from lack of play.

Communication and social skills diminish from lack of play.

Playing Builds a Good Foundation

The benefits of play help us tremendously in adulthood. For instance, when starting a new activity, project, job, business, or career, those early fledgling days of childhood activity often produce life's gold nuggets.

Some children kick or throw a ball and later become millionaire athletes. Some go from building cardboard skyscrapers to developing prestigious real estate projects. Many kids have pretended to be singing on stage and have become award-winning performers. There is more to "Child's play." It is not just playing. But a foundation for building a life.

Sources

Danniels, E. (2018, February). Play-based learning: Defining Play-based Learning. Retrieved from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/play-based-learning/according-experts/defining-play-based-learning

Early Childhood, S. (2016, July 01). Play-Based Learning...It's More Than Fun and Games. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ObiMpB923oI

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Robert Odell Jr

Comments

Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on August 04, 2020:

You are correct Peachy. Fred, "Mr. Rogers," Rogers said, "... for children, play is serious learning."

peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 03, 2020:

Awesome hub.

Yup we learn a lot when we play, it dies not matter who we play or what toys we are playing. Interaction and confidence will be implemented

Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on August 02, 2020:

Thank you for your comment and for reading the article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 02, 2020:

Well presented. Nice analysis.

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