How much influence do young children have about the opportunities that happen around them? A lot. Small kids are dynamic players on the planet. Although they may not perceive the significance of what they see or hear, kids understand the pictures that encompass them and are thoroughly affected by the feelings of the individuals they depend on for love and security.
Parents and caregivers play a very important role in helping young children cope with and recover from traumatic and stressful experiences. Providing young children with sensitive and responsive care takes a lot of emotional and physical energy. But the everyday moments shared between a child and caring adults can be mutually healing. During difficult and uncertain times, simply finding comfort in each other’s presence is the first step to helping young children cope and heal.
The Power of Play
Children are curious from the moment they are born. They want to learn about and understand their world. During the first five years of life children’s brains are growing faster than at any other time of life. Children’s early experiences are shaped as their brains develop. Children’s early learning sets the stage for school success. Good early experiences help a child’s brain develop well. The more work the brain does, the more it is capable of doing. When children play, their brains work hard. Playing is how children learn. The play comes naturally to children. They play during daily routines. They play during the learning experiences you provide. Think about a baby who starts a peek-a-boo game with you when you pull her shirt over her head. The toddler or two-year-old who imitates the way you read to her as she reads to her doll. Or the three or-four-year-old who scribbles and marks on a large sheet of paper you put out on the table, then announces proudly, “I wrote my name.”. Sometimes it may look like not much is happening. Filling and dumping small objects from a can may seem boring to you. Playing blocks seems like just stacking them and knocking them down.
But the play is filled with opportunities for children to learn and develop new skills. When children play, they use all their senses – hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, smelling and moving – to gather information about their world. Later they will gather information through language. They organize and reorganize this information into their first pictures of themselves, others, and their world.
Children love to play and play often mirrors what is important in their lives. When asked about play children talk about having fun, being with friends, choosing activities themselves, and being outdoors. Play can be quiet or noisy, messy or orderly, funny or serious, strenuous or effortless. It can take place inside or outside and develops as children grow and change. They play for different reasons. Sometimes they are exploring or learning new things. At other times they are consolidating existing learning or practicing a skill. Play can also be a way of building or strengthening a relationship. kids often play simply for fun and enjoyment. They bring their interpretations of situations, events, experiences, and expectations to their play.
Children need time to develop their play. They like having spaces inside and outside, and often enjoy playing with other children and adults. They also need props such as toys, equipment and real objects to play with and manipulate. Love to make choices about when, what, where, how, and with whom to play. These guidelines offer information and suggestions on how the adult can extend and enrich children’s learning and development through play.
The importance of play, Dr. David Whitebread
Play and Child Development, JOE L. FROST, SUE C. WORTHAM, STUART REIFEL
Learning through play, UNICEF-Lego Foundation
Early Child Development Kit: A Treasure Box of Activities, Activity Guide, UNICEF