The role of play in child development is immense and almost every modern studies on the subject of child development has revealed that play is very much needed for the wholesome development of a child and for learning the essential life skills which will definitely help the child to adapt to any changing situation in the long run. Parents should understand the importance of play and should encourage this aspect for the sake of the benefit of their children. But it is to be kept in mind that not only parents but all those adults who are related to a child including the extended family members and childcare providers should try to render ample opportunities to encourage the playful nature of children as it is very much essential for both the cognitive and motor development of any child.
In respect of the parent-children relation the aspect of play is significant and much emphasis must be given on it for the betterment of children. It is a proven fact that play is very much important "for children's development and for children to bond" (Anderson-McNamee & Bailey, 2010) and it is a perfect way for parents, extended family members, childcare givers to bond with children and to get close to them. Moreover, it is trough the medium of play that parents can render the essential lessons of life to their children. It is also to be noted that in many occasion it is through play that children learn how to get disciplined and they get to understand the basic rules and regulations that can act as guiding forces in their adulthood. Teachers who are inclined to mix play with studies are often found to be much more favourite of their students and the latter are usually tending to get close to such teachers. And this is the reason why some teachers are more liked by their students in comparison to other teachers. The same can be the case with parents as it is usually seen that fathers and mothers who are more tolerant to play are much more close to their children.
Through my classes on child development I did understand that play is essentially needed by children to manage their own feelings and to cope with unsettling situations and upsetting incidents. It is an important medium through which children are able to build relationships and it acts as a perfect mode of entertainment and fun. Moreover, I came to understand through the classes on child development that though different types of play children develop intellectually and there are myriad of games which actually help children to learn about space and size ("The importance of Play in a Child's Development", n.d.). And such learning process helps in the cognitive development of children.
Moreover, it is a fact that paediatrics across the globe accept the fact that "Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth" (Ginsburg et al, 2007). In the class through avid listening I came to know that the motor/physical skills of children are largely enhanced by different types of play. For an example, by picking up small things, by pushing and pulling different types of toys, or by throwing and catching balls or other objects children can actually help the proper development of their muscles and their motor co-ordinations. And in this respect, parents and adults should try to encourage children to play not only for the latter's cognitive development but for their physical development too. Furthermore, it is a fact that children learn to know about the concept of relationship and bonding through play. As discussed earlier, play act as a medium through which children and parents can strengthen their bond. But it should be also kept in mind that through playing children can also develop the concept of sharing with one another as in different plays need a group of children to perform and this grouping actually enhances the feeling of unity and sharing.
Myriads of advantages are rendered to a child through play. As informed in my class playing actually helps a child to develop universal learning skill and this can maximize a child's potential through the development of his/her creativity and imagination. Besides, play provides joy to a child and this is very much essential for enhancing self-esteem and to sustain good health. Moreover, it is play which infuses the sense of basic trust within children which is very important for their proper psychological development. And it is a reality that "Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn" (Donaldson, n.d.). Furthermore, going through the write up by Dr. Donaldson (The Importance of Original Play In Human Development) I came to learn that play generates myriads of emotional and behavioural benefits that help reduce fear, anxiety, stress, and irritability among children and help in improving their emotional flexibility and openness. Besides, it is play which enhances children's adaptability to change and also raises the level of calmness and resilience among children.
In conclusion, play is very much important in the process of child development. It is such an aspect which can have immense positive impact on the wholesome development of a child encompassing his/her physical and psychological developments. Besides, play is a key process through which parents and adults can establish a strong bonding between them and the children and this bonding not only provides a sense of love and belonging to a child but also renders to a child the sense of security and trust which are essential factors for the cognitive development of any child. And as all this information was pertained to me through the classes on child development, I should surely admit that this course on child development has definitely changed my point of view regarding the role of play in a child's life.