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Play in Child Development

Elvis Elvis

Play in child development is an easy concept to understand. So don’t you get overwhelmed. I’m not teaching a psych. course here.

It’s easy to understand because it revolves around this viewpoint:

A Child’s Job is to Play

However, this job isn’t breaking any Child Labor laws. Children’s play is very different from work in a number of ways.

Yes, you know the difference between work and play, but I’ll discuss it anyway because it’s necessary in order to appreciate play in child development.

The Purpose of Work and Play

  • The focus of work is the end result. While I might enjoy working, my boss is concerned about my performance and doing the job. As we all know, we must deliver, deliver, deliver and by the due date.Will my boss care that while typing my report, a pretty bird flew past my window, inspiring me to take a walk in the park? No, Never! The boss will ask, “Why is this late?”

    In our world…The focus of work is the product.

  • The focus of play is the process. I discussed this already. So we’ll move on.

Play in Child Development

The Self in Work and Play

  • Have you ever notice that you, and everyone else at work, do the same things, everyday, at the same time? Why is that? Because Big Brother company want us to be methodical and rigid.

    Think about it? What do you do at 11am everyday? Do you think your boss would like it if delivered your financial report on pretty flower stationary? Probably not…Office policies and dress rules make us rigid workers. Yes, the systems and rules help things run smoothly, of course we’re there to produce, but don’t you want to express yourself sometimes?

  • Play is all about creativity, spontaneity, imagination, and flexibility. There are no rules and policies to play. A child can build her alphabet blocks however she likes.

    She can spell with them, lick them, stack them, smell them, and bash them whenever and however…until Dad says, “cleanup”.

    Real play is has no correct ways. Play is all about individual expression.

The Time for Work and Play

  • If Saturday was a better work day than Monday, could you switch days? Most workers have an 8 hour Mon-Fri schedule. We can’t decide to change days, work 20 hours straight two days a week, or work 7 to 3 instead of 9 to 5.

    Work is scheduled with set being and end times.

  • Play is restriction-less in terms of time. Adults impose time on children’s play. However, a child can play for hours undisturbed.

    They could start to play, do another activity, and come back to the same toy. Also, there’s no harm in playing for more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours a week.

    No burnout with play.

The Motivation of Work and Play

  • What motivates you to go work…is it your burning desire to sit in a cubicle for eight hours? I didn’t think so.

    You barter your time for a paycheck. We work for external motivations such as money, professional contacts, or status.

  • Children are born to play. It’s intrinsically motivating for them. They don’t need external incentives such as candy or gifts to play.

    Play is just naturally fun to them. My mother didn’t ever have to ask me twice to go outside… But she did have to bribe me to wash the dishes.

I hope you have a clear idea of the difference between work and play. Play in child development revolves around this viewpoint. It’s important that you give your child every opportunity to “play”. This is how they’ll learn and increase intelligence.