Critically Discuss How Children Learn To Socialise

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Play is often regarded as difficult to define due to problems with differentiating between forms of play and non-play, whether or not it serves a function, and the lack of an explicit theory of play (Pellegrini, 2009). Despite the problems with defining play most agree that it contributors significantly to children's cognitive, physical, emotional and social development (Smith, 2010, Ginsburg, 2006). Social interactions are driven by an individual's willingness to engage with others in social interactions to seek their attention or approval (Shaffer & Kipp, 2007). One of the benefits of play is to allow children the opportunity to learn about social interaction and socialisation through childhood play scenarios. During childhood, research has indicated that children will engage in play in order to engage with their peers, create bounds and develop the social skills needed in later life through social play forms such as pretend and rough and tumble (R&T) play. This essay aims to illustrate and discuss how children learn to socialise through interacting with their primary caregivers through pretend play and how this supports them in early social pretend play and rough and tumble play with other children. Research in the area of play has demonstrated that children's social interaction within the context of play increases as children develop. Parten (1932) observed two to four and a half year old children during free play periods and categorised six developmental changes in the social complexity of children's social interactions with their peers; Unoccupied (children are not engaged in play), Solitary play (children engage in their own activity and ignore what other children are doing around them), Onlooker play (children watch others play but make no attempt to join in), Parallel play (children play alongside each other but there is little interaction),
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