The Power of Play Poster Series
The Child’s Play: Learning that comes naturally information sheet, produced jointly by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Education (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Childhood Education (SKC-ECD), describes play as:
- A form of learning
- Simple, creative, spontaneous, flexible with no specific goals
- Started and led by your child
- An activity that should be part of all children’s life
The info sheet notes that social, cognitive and physical play accounts for around 20% of most young children’s energy and time, helps a child develop the skills they will need to learn to read, write and communicate verbally, and allows a child to develop social skills (problem solving, cooperation) to express stresses and problems.
The info sheet focuses on four areas:
- Interacting with your child during play to foster imagination, creativity and language-related skills
- Creating a secure play environment adapted to your child’s physical and intellectual needs
- The importance of free play for your child - stimulating activities do not always mean structured ones
- Play fighting and use of war toys - this form of play is common, and, within limits, can be beneficial to a child’s development
Ideas to help encourage and manage creative play are offered for each of the four areas.
The Power of Play poster series, produced by the government of Newfoundland Labrador, includes six picture posters of children in play situations.
For further reading, the 2006 document, Let the Children Play: Nature’s Answer to Early Learning, is a frequently referenced article on play theory.