Importance of Play
Play is the most important way that young children learn. Through play, children learn about the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive worlds around them. As they play with adults, they learn new vocabulary, understand culturally determined rules and roles such as how to treat one another, and build important emotional connections. When they play with their peers, they learn that others have perspectives, rights, and feelings that may conflict with their own. Playing with others is how children learn reciprocity and mutual respect, essential traits humans need to coexist in a peaceful world (Copple, & Bredekamp, 2009).
Play is not a break from learning, but a pathway toward learning (Copple &Bredekamp, 2009) .
Lev Vygostsky's Social Development Theory stresses the role of social interactions for cognitive development, concepts such as the More Knowledgable Other, and Zone of Proximal Development appear to be closely linked with play.