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What is the value of play in young children’s lives? Is play essential for developmental growth and school readiness? These are questions that are being asked as the pre-school years receive national attention from parents, educators and the government.
There is a large body of information, based on years of research and first-hand observations that explores and explains ways that children learn at different ages and developmental stages. A major finding is that children from infancy on learn by doing, by having access to open-ended, hands-on, self-directed activities.
Most people would agree that they, themselves learn best when they are actively involved and having fun. Children are no exception.
Play offers opportunities that challenge and stimulate children’s creativity, curiosity and imagination.
Play heightens their interest and involvement.
Children develop and learn in stages and this is reflected in their play. These stages can and do overlap, and often do not correspond with the child’s chronological age. Children develop on an individual timetable, when they are developmentally ready, both physically and intellectually.
Infants are observers and solitary players. They use their senses to find out about the world and how things work.
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