I’m sure we have all heard this phrase before. How children can play for hours on end without exhaustion is still a mystery, we at King’s Kid are yet to solve.
Perhaps this knowledge from the famous child Psychologist, Dr.Parten shall help
Parten’s Five Types of Play
Play for young children assumes many different forms. Mildred Parten (1932) was one of the early researchers studying children at play. She focused on the social interactions between children during play activities. Parten’s categories of play are not hierarchical. Depending on the circumstances, children may engage in any of the different types of play. Parten does note, however, that in her research with two- to five-year-olds, “participation in the most social types of groups occurs most frequently among the older children”
- Onlooker behavior—Playing passively by watching or conversing with other children engaged in play activities.
- Solitary independent Playing by oneself.
- Parallel Playing, even in the middle of a group, while remaining engrossed in one’s own activity. Children playing parallel to each other sometimes use each other’s toys, but always maintain their independence.
- Associative—When children share materials and talk to each other, but do not coordinate play objectives or interests.
- Cooperative—When children organize themselves into roles with specific goals in mind (e.g., to assign the roles of doctor, nurse, and patient and play hospital).
How Much Should Children Play?
Indoors and outdoors, children need large blocks of time for play. According to Christie and Wardle (1992), short play periods may require children to abandon their group dramatizations or constructive play just when they begin to get involved. When this happens a number of times, children may give up on more sophisticated forms of play and settle for less advanced forms that can be completed in short periods of time. Shorter play periods reduce both the amount and the maturity of children’s play, and many important benefits of play, such as persistence, negotiation, problem-solving, planning, and cooperation are lost. Large blocks of time (30 to 60 minutes, or longer) should be scheduled for indoor and outdoor play periods. Christie and Wardle remind teachers that extra play time does not result in children becoming bored. Instead, it prompts children to become involved in more complex, more productive play activities.
Now that the little ones are at home 24/7, it is Important they still get enough time to play and run around. Make use of different rooms and areas around the house (i.e garden) to change the learning environment as much as you can.
Play helps children develop language and reasoning skills, encourages autonomous thinking and problem solving as well as helps improve their ability to focus and control their behavior. Play also aids children to learn discovery and develop verbal and manipulative skills, judgment and reasoning and creativity. Parents are encouraged to put time aside to play with the children to stimulate all areas mentioned above
Learning through play and having fun is the best early childhood stimulation needed for children