The Playwork Principles state that "All children and young people need to play. The impulse is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities".
Children have a natural urge to play, this is how they learn and develop as a whole. It teaches them to have imagination and creativity it also helps develop their speech, problem solving and fine motor skills which are very important in early development.
Children constantly play and are sometimes unaware, it can be in the car on the way to school through glances accross the hall it is everywhere.
Play is a natural instinct within a child and it is their way of understanding, making sense of the world around them . Play is essential to health and well being and children have a sense of adventure that do not need toys to play with, they can use their imaginations to turn the simplest of objects into anything they wish.
Through play children use all sorts of skills like independence, creativity, curiosity and problem solving. They explore their feelings, develop social skills and make use of role playing which helps practice their language skills. This allows them to gain confidence and to develop their language.
An example of this is an adopted child from another country joined our play setting whilst at nursery(the school our setting is placed at does not have a nursery) he had speech and language problems, lacked social skills with other children, his concentration was poor and he would spend his time talking to his cars and using the car mat barely looking up and would not engage with other children. He came to our play setting four nights a week and through encouragement and positive reinforcement he has become a very social little boy and plays with fellow children from his class right up to the year 6 children which is the most wonderful thing. His speech has also improved greatly and his behaviour is impeccable. I believe that through our positive reinforcement and modelling good play and encouraging to play games, role play etc has given him the confidence and greatly improved his self esteem.
Play is biological because it is born within us, it is essential for development of the brain and to learn social and emotional skills. It is also biological within animals, animals play to learn, hoofed animals play and practice kicking their legs out to defend themselves from predators. Lions and Tigers practice play fighting with their siblings and parents to learn how to kill their prey. Without having the desire to play they would not learn the skills they need to survive. This can also be compared to children as they more experience they learn through play the more life skills they will have.
Psychologically play is great for a childs well-being, it lets them forget the stresses of everyday life and let themselves go. They can soon forget and enjoy play with their friends. It helps them to understand the world around them and learn new skills whilst also solving problems.
Sociological play again helps children to learn more skills but social ones, it helps them learn about the