Why is playing crucial in children's development?
Playing is an innate ability for everybody, yet it is more relevant to us as children when we begin making first discoveries about our world. Moreover, it has a fundamental value as cognitive and emotional development starts then, and physical health and interpersonal relationships establish themselves as transcendental for the adult age.
So, is it important to play? Of course! It is by playing that kids gain knowledge and essential capacities that are critical at educational levels. "Environments that stimulate playing, exploring and practical learning, constitute the educational fundaments for preschools' effective programs."
Playing is a way to discover; it is the best way to learn about our world and everyday experiences. It also has a fundamental role in decision-making. As a result, kids start to take active places, become autonomous, and start trusting themselves.
Motivating children to let their imaginations be free is vital as it enables artistic and technical creativity. "Everything that surrounds us and everything that is created by mankind (...) is a product of our imagination," states L.S. Vygotsky. On the other hand, developing games that include rules might be an efficient way for kids to incorporate maturity, but this applies more effectively to kids between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. Overall, playing is a healthy way for younger kids to open up their minds to all the possible adventures this world might bring them.