Theory of Play and Playwork

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Theories Relating to Play and Playwork Play is an important part of child development. Play provides children with natural opportunities to engage in concrete and meaningful activities that enhance physical, language, social and cognitive development. Playwork practitioner includes working with children aged from birth up to five years, no never professionals working in early childhood education and care of children. Playwork is driven by the belief that the game is very valuable, high factor in the development of the child. Tina Bruce presents a comprehensive theory of play. Play has been described as “a unifying mechanism…the highest level of learning,” Hodder (2011.p.20). Likewise, Froebel pointed out play has a distinct spiritual dimension due to the role play plays in fostering relationships with self and other (cited by Bruce.p. 20). Theories of play must also distinguish between play and work, with play being activities the child initiates; work being the activities initiated or “required” by an adult (Bruce.p. 24). The child’s level of initiation and self-motivation are core components of play. According to Tina Bruce (1997.p.43), play can also be a means of providing feedback for adults on a child’s stage of learning or development. Play is the child’s way of learning and acquiring knowledge about self and the world in ways that are meaningful from the child’s point of view. Because play is central to the child’s experience, self-concept, cognitive and physical development, and social interactions, adults need to understand their role in facilitating, structuring, organizing or initiating play. One of the biggest questions related to play is how much structure to impose on playtime, and if any structure, what type. Knowing how to approach play from the adult’s standpoint depends on one’s fundamental theory of play, and whether play
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