Through play children develop key cognitive , social-emotional and physical skills. They learn about problem solving, verbal and non-verbal skills, flexibility. Thereby enhancing their confidence, co-operation, patience, negotiation , sharing and communicative skills. Physically they develop fine and gross motor skills. Children learn more by exploring and investigating their environment through play.
Babies and Toddlers are natural learners however each baby develops at a different pace and each of them have unique preferences.
Structured and free play.
Structured play is what we will do during the workshop. Whilst free play will be outdoors controlled by the children and no adult interference. In my opinion this is the highest form of play allowing children to be children.
Manipulative Play structured play:
Manipulative play is sometimes thought of as cognitive development play. This play utilises equipment such as puzzles, pegboards, stackers, beads etc. This type of play is structured and adult directed. This type of play is goal orientated. Meaning that the adult directing the play has a specific end result.
This type of play enables children to utilise their pent up energy on running, climbing, riding, sand play, water play. It is beneficial for large motor muscles.
Stages of Play:
The child plays alone and takes no notice of the children around him or her. This type of play is seen in children 2-3 years old
The child is mainly alone but alongside other children. Although they appear to being playing together. Their social interaction with their peers is limited. This type of play
Free Play is active in which children do what they want and when they want. There are no rules.
Social or co-operative play:
Children learn to interact and play with other children co0operating, sharing toys. Ages 3-4.