Over the years of working with children, I have seen many conditions that support the importance of play for proper development. This is also something that is strongly supported in research on child development.
Engaging in appropriate play activities is beneficial for children Develop important skills Necessary to interact with others. It is also necessary to learn effective methods of dealing with the challenges that individuals face as they grow.
You can see this in any park during the summer where kids play soccer, baseball, tag, or something similar. I would say you can still see this in local parks every day even if video games take more and more interest in kids. But you can also see it when kids are playing board games and even when playing video games (although the social aspect of video games is hard to see because players are often not usually in the same room and interact online).
What these games all have in common is that there is a basic set of rules but children are free to do whatever they want within these rules. Watching children playing these games shows that there are infinite differences in the different ways that games can be played even if all the rules are followed.
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Childhood play enhances social interactions
What you also see with these games is that there is a huge amount of interaction that is required – even if the social interactions are limited to yelling about who broke the rule or applicable rules, there is still a lot of interaction. There are usually some specific rules in place to determine when something will change if problems get out of hand. This could be something as simple as kids getting a parent if one of the other players becomes violent or the game over entirely if someone continues not to follow the rules.
These aspects of childhood play (set rules that are kept to a minimum, the freedom to decide how best to play the game within the given rules, social interactions, and rules for how to end the game if problems occur) are the aspects of play that have been found most beneficial to the development of Child. Conclusions about what helps make play effective have been found in several research studies of human and animal behavior.
Play helps strengthen skills in children
I was thinking about this recently when I read a recent article on International Journal of Comparative Psychology (Pellis, Pellis, Himmler, Modlińska, Stryjek, Kolb & Pisula. 2019). This was an article that once again supported the importance of play activities as something fundamental to all species as they grow. These authors addressed not only the importance of play, but also the type of play that is important to children of all kinds.
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In this article, they specifically examine mice and address the different types of play that mice participate in, both in domestic environments and in the wild. It is clear that both have benefited from play activities and have developed specific skills that they need to successfully grow into adulthood. Either way, these authors found that young mice raised with playful peers develop better social skills and better cognitive skills than animals raised separately from their peers and/or primarily around adults.