The Importance of Children’s Play in Development

Monday, May 2, 2016
Everything that a child does in the beginning stages of their life is a learning experience. Learning as they mix batter, dig holes, discover a new texture, climb stairs, listen to classical music, crawl in tight spaces is key to child's development. The whole world is their laboratory as they figure out how to engage their bodies in exploration and discovery.
 
When children play together they can learn how to…
 
  • Make friends
  • Read emotions
  • Work together
  • Become a leader
  • Be a part of a group
  • And more
An important part of children's play is learning to interact with others. This involves learning to share, negotiate, lead, follow, listen, collaborate, plan, imagine, and show affection.
 
In the 1930s, a child development scholar named Mildred Parten, studied preschool children playing and developed descriptions of six stages of what a child's play looks like. These playtime stages are still referred to in child development classes today.
 
  • Unoccupied Play: Observing but not playing.
  • Solitary Play: Child plays by him/herself.
  • Onlooker Play: Children watch others play but do not join in.
  • Parallel Play: Children play side by side but don't interact. They may watch each other and mimic that.
  • Associative Play: Children are playing together but not in an organized way. They are interacting but don't appear to have a goal.
  • Cooperative Play: Children play together in an organized, coordinated way. This may present itself as the children taking on roles ("You are it" or "I’ll be the cook"), or each child may have a job (one child is responsible for building the tower for the sand castle; another builds the moat; another gets water to fill the moat, etc.)
As an Orlando daycare, Kids and Company tries to promote both learning and play. Activities often become a mixture of them both; where open-ended materials allow children to explore and create. At Kids & Company we share this belief; our research-based curriculum, High Reach, is play-based because we understand how children learn. In our program, children are stimulated intellectually as well as emotionally and socially, from a variety of sources. Our classrooms are equipped with state-of-art computers, science experiments and nature observations, which challenge children’s minds. We have activities that stimulate the senses too; for example, children have fun while learning how temperature changes can turn juice into popsicles (and they are yummy too!)
 
Painting is a way for children to experiment with colors as they find the many different combinations that result in even more colors. Then in the Dramatic Play area children can role-play and develop their social skills while playing in our vast assortment of multicultural dolls. Children are also able to explore the roles of important members of society such as doctors, teachers, police officers, etc. with dress-up clothes. These are just a few of the ways our children learn through play, which is the best way!
 
Kids & Company offers so much more than the typical Orlando daycare. Free hot meals, free PM transportation, after school care until 7p.m., and we even have the option for Saturday and night care at our Curry Ford location. With three locations around Orlando, there is a convenient location for you and your child. If you have any questions about our programs, including: infant care, childcare, voluntary prekindergarten (VPK), or after school programs, give us a call at (407) 227-1015.
Kids & Company 5/2/2016

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