Play and Child Development
Play in child development is essential because it prepares children to engage the outside world in a positive manner. It gives children the opportunity to interact with other kids in challenging games thus giving them a taste of social, physical, and emotional worlds. The experiences that children have while little are important because they can determine the people they become in the future. Therefore, it is important that guardians allow their children to play with others in playgrounds to enable them to pick up essentials development skills. The various skills that children can learn from the playground affect their physical, cognitive, and social life. Therefore, this essay will focus on the playground equipment found in the Simple Fun Kidz video and their effects on the development of children. Besides, the various child development and developmental theories about play including planes of development, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, and Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory will be discussed in this essay.
The first theory that explains the development of a child is the planes of development theory. The theory suggests that children in the second phase of planes of development have an excellent master of primary human skills such as developed personality, movement coordination, basics intelligence, and fluent speech (Trawick-Smith, 2014). The main learning methods of children in this stage include reasoning, logic, and imagination (Crowley, 2014). The application of this theory in the video from the Simple Fun Kidz (2016) can be seen in the play when children climb the chain and rope climbers since they have to reason before making any move.
The chain and rope climbers give children fun and challenging games that help in teaching different development skills. The chain and rope climbers require climbing, an activity that involves the changing of positions. Therefore, it needs kids to have an awareness of many factors such as the body position and the various positions of the chain and rope climbers such as bottom and top. The different areas help the children to learn to make decisions and judgments relating to movement. As a result, the children can know what to do with their body part to realize the progress after making decisions and judgments of the actions. Furthermore, the children learn problem-solving skills and the ability to predict what could happen next after individual events. The children also learn how to make decisions based on their flexible thinking capabilities (Crowley, 2014). For instance, they could wonder what could happen if they put their right leg in front and why it would not be possible to climb down the chain and rope climbers faster.
Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory is the second theory that explains child development. As the children learn to hold tight to the ropes and pump their feet, they apply the Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. The theory is based on the assumption that children learn through their experiences when they participate in activities. This can be seen when the children play with the swing in the video by Simple Fun Kidz (2016). The swing is one of the basic equipment found in most playgrounds since it can help in the development of kids in several ways. It helps children in developing the ability to have balance. It also helps kids to have an understanding of space since they can know where their bodies are while in space. Furthermore, it gives children the chance to practice different body and balance skills that are essential. Fine motor skills are among the critical skills that a child can learn while gripping the ropes that make up the swing. The other skill that children can get from the swing is gross motor skills. The gross motor skills are developed when children pump his legs to swing higher. Besides the fine and gross motor skills, the kids can learn coordination (Crowley, 2014). The coordination can be realized during the simultaneous gripping of the ropes and pumping of the legs. Nevertheless, the children can master essentials life skills such as speed and direction judgment gained from the swinging. Another theory with the same belief is Piaget’s theory of cognitive development (Crowley, 2014).
The other theory that is related to the development of children is Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. The theory suggests that children get the chance to explore their interpersonal skills when they start activities. This is particularly the case in the initiative vs. guilt stage of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development since play is the primary activity that children in this juncture do. The theory is best seen when children engage in free paly. The reason for this is that children tend to make decisions and lead others thus giving them the sense of action. Towards the middle of the video, the children can be seen running all around the playground while others ride bikes. It is one of the areas of the playground that is critical because it offers space for free play. During free play, children tend to engage in games that do not follow particular rules with other kids. The playground area is essential because it gives children the opportunity to interact with each other in the playground. Most importantly, the free play allows children to learn communications skills as they try to express their feelings and emotions. As a result, kids develop vocabulary and conversation skills (Crowley, 2014). In addition, it creates strong bonds with other kids as the children find mutual interests while playing together. Furthermore, the free play gives the children an opportunity to learn other critical life skills. For instance, the can learn how to follow the rules quickly as they engage in games that require the fulfillment of certain requirements to realize certain objectives. Such games are essential, but it is important that the children be left to play alone in such games. The reason for this is the fact that the involvement of older people in their games could lead to imposing of rules that may affect the children negatively (Goldstein, 2012). For instance, the children could lose the opportunity to enjoy the free paly benefits such as group skills, leadership, and creativity. Therefore, they should be left to play alone with other children to help them grow into adults that can quickly follow the rules.
Children play is an essential activity in the development of children because of the various benefits it offers. Among the common benefits of play is the cognitive, physical, and social development of children. As such, it is advisable that children take part in playing with other kids in outdoor areas like playgrounds. Chain and rope climbers are one of the basic equipment found in the playground. They help develop skills such as decision-making, reasoning, prediction, and problem solving. The other equipment in the playground is the swings that that help children develop important skill such as fine and gross motor skills as well as coordination. The playground also offers free space that allows children to participate in free pay that has benefits such as learning of communication skills and conversation. The three theories that can be used to explain child development are planes of development, Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, and Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.
Crowley, K. (2014). Child Development: A Practical Introduction (1st ed.). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Ginsburg, K. (2007). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. PEDIATRICS, 119(1), 182-191.
Simple Fun Kidz. (2016). Outdoor Playground Fun For Kids with Toddler Bike Town. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRdMFA8BspI&feature=youtu.be
Trawick-Smith, J. (2014). The Physical Play and Motor Development of Young Children: A Review of Literature and Implications for Practice (1st ed.). Connecticut: Center for early childhood education.