Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Children Learn to Do through Play

Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Children Learn to Do through Play

Article excerpt

A reader writes:

After reading your article about the importance of children's play (Parenting December 2007), I found some more information on this subject from Elizabeth Jones, an author and early childhood expert from Pacific Oaks College. As your article pointed out, play helps kids learn to make sense out of their world. Professor Jones says that play can also teach kids to:

* Use their imagination, improvise, think flexibly and explore new options.

* Make appropriate choices from among many possibilities.

* Solve problems, both with materials and with people.

* Cooperate with other children in the creation of mutually satisfying projects.

* Work through their feelings in creative, non-destructive ways.

* Pay attention to a project until it's done.

* Become more aware of their own real interests, without being distracted by other possibilities-to say "yes" and to say "no."

* Use something such as a dramatic action, a word, a toy, a set of blocks or a collection of marks on paper-to represent something else. This "something else" can be a real experience or a powerful feeling. …

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