Posted on 01/02/2013 at 07:48 AM by Global Reach

There is an old adage, “Play is the work of children.” Well, it really is more than just work, its purpose is enormous in helping children understand the world around them as well as understand their own personal capabilities. An additional outcome of play is pleasure, where children (and even adults) can relax, enjoy and find comfort.

So, what benefits are contained in the ventures of handling materials, playing roles in activities, and organizing actions around an idea. Children use their explorations of objects, situations and ideas as a means to begin to develop thinking, problem-solving, understanding, empathy, processing, creativity, etc.

Play provides opportunities for young children to learn impulse control (ability to wait for a turn or allow others to make choices/get what they want), multitask (chance to think about many aspects while in act), use multi-step directions (others giving information useful in processing situations), staying focused (stay on expected task process), and learn to avoid being distracted (ability to complete task when other things are happening around child). These aspects of play require a child to plan, think ahead, take the perspective of others, solve problems, and learn to regulate their own emotions and behaviors. These skills are classified together as something called “executive function”.  When children have strong executive function skills along with ability to self-regulate, research say that these are strong predictors of school success, even stronger than IQ.

THE OUTCOME: Children who are more prepared for “school” and more able to deal with everyday situations of interacting with others and learning. 

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