In to offer. The context of the environment can

In early years, play is a fundamental part of a child’s development.
Through play

 

children gain skills that will help them progress in life. This essay
shall focus on

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the importance of play in the early years setting. The most important
points

 

concerning this are: developing skills for later life; gives opportunity
for creative

 

development and emotional development; helps aid social development and

 

revealing a child’s behavior and attitudes in line with society’s norms
and

 

values. This will be supported by key theorists and experience in actual
early

 

years settings. These will all explain the key aspects of the importance
of play in

 

early years settings.

 

 

Firstly, one importance of play in an early years setting is to help develop
skills

 

for later life. When at home children are socialised through play at a
young age

 

to fit society’s norms and values for later life. At home it is known as
primary

 

socialisation and in an early years setting it is known as secondary
socialisation.

 

This can be done through the variety of activities the settings have to
offer.  The

 

context of the environment can change the way the children are
socialised,

 

differing from what they may have been taught in a home environment and
the

 

rest of society (Grusec et al, 2015). From experience in an early years
setting, it

 

seems that early years have resources for roleplay, dress up, home area
and a

 

creative area. The roleplay, dress up and home areas are the ones that
focus

 

more on socialising children for the skills they need in later life. In
the home

 

area, children seem to copy skills they have learnt from their parents.
This can

 

include domestic activities such as cooking and cleaning. However,
certain

 

children who do not spend as much time with their parents may be unsure
as to

 

how to use this area. Therefore it is important, according to Manning et
al

 

(1977) that early year’s settings provide a home area to help teach these
skills.

 

Only through playing with adults and other children will they learn these
skills.

 

They also say how children from different cultural backgrounds may play
with

 

the home area in a different way, and may ‘introduce new ideas into
domestic

 

play’. Steiner (cited in Miller et al, 2011) supports this provision to
help children

 

gain skills through play.  He said
that ‘it is imitation that is seen as the key

 

learning method for children under the age of 7’. Through watching others
at lay

 

in an early year’s home area, children learn to take on the skills that
will be

 

useful in later life. This concept can also be used in a role play, dress
up area.

 

By watching other adults in jobs the children can act out what they have

 

observed the adults role doing. This could influence their choices in
what

 

educational and career choice in later life. However, Mayall (cited in
Bruce,

 

2006) says that childhood should be more than just a period of waiting
for later

 

life and practicing these skills rather than using their imagination to
create

 

something new. They say that ‘we should not forget that children are
human

 

beings, not human becomings’. Therefore, this all shows that play is
important

 

in an early years setting in terms of helping develop skills for later
life. Through

 

the provision of the right resources for play, children can learn these
skills that

 

will help them learn the norms and values of society.

 

 

Moreover, another importance of play in an early years setting is that it
gives

 

the opportunity for creative development. Throughout all aspects of paly

 

children need to use their imagination to create either games or art or
other

 

situations. Therefore, play develops their creativity to fit certain
aspects of early

 

years settings and the peers around them. Craft (2006) says that creative

 

development consists of how children use different ways to use their

 

imagination to represent certain aspects. This can also be aided through
the

 

use of certain provisions that helps provide inspiration. Say if a
stethoscope is

 

provided in a role play, dress up area a child may come up with a game
that

 

involves creating a hospital environment in the classroom. Therefore, it

 

challenges children to come up with certain situations through play which
helps

 

to challenge them to use their imagination to a greater extent. Craft
(2010) also

 

expresses how important creative development is in today’s society.  The fact

 

that society is less organized and has more freedom in choice means that

 

children have room at a young age to express their different creative
choices;

 

that would have been more set organized ideas in past years. Teachers can

 

help aid this creative development by providing a number of different
provisions

 

to help aid play in a creative way, such as role play and dress up
resources;

 

musical instruments; home area objects and art resources. This creative

 

development can also be linked to emotional development. Griffiths (1935)
uses

 

the phrase that ‘imagination may be called the reflection of the
emotional life’.

 

Children may express their emotions through ideas that play may
introduce. A

 

particular subject may be slightly emotionally sensitive to a child and
the

 

creative concepts they come out with may reflect their emotional state
towards

 

this subject. This develops their emotional development by actually
showing

 

their emotions rather than concealing them. Instead, they can face them
head

 

on and may find a psychological relief in expressing it with peers
through play,

 

in a more comfortable environment. The provision of resources, as
mentioned

 

earlier, can also help provide this. Certain objects may provide
inspiration for

 

children to act out these emotions. This can also be a vital tool for
teachers in

 

seeing if children have any problems at home to be concerned about.
However,

 

some people disagree with the provision of resources: as it hinders
children’s

 

creative development rather that aiding it. Bruce (2006) uses the concept
of ‘the

 

colouring- in curriculum’. By providing the resources it hinders the
possibilities

 

of what children can create as they are given a framework to use in their
play

 

rather than just using basic imagination. Overall, this shows that
through play,

 

children can develop their creative and emotional development in the
early

 

years setting.

 

 

Furthermore, another importance of play in the early years is that it
helps to aid

 

social development. Through a limited amount of certain resources,
children will

 

need to interact with other peers to share these and learn to play
together.

 

Therefore, it teaches them teamwork skills and how to interact with
others.

 

Montessori (cited in Miller et al, 2011) supports this as she says that
children

 

should be independent from adults and instead interact with their peers.

 

Therefore, interacting with peers through play helps develop this social

 

development. Working with peers can also test children’s creative and

 

emotional development as well. Children need to adapt their play to fit
the ideas

 

of all the peers involved. From experience, not all children have the
same ideas

 

about how to play. Children need to come up with ideas to fit all and
learn to

 

compromise so that everyone is happy with the play situation. In terms of

 

emotional development, disagreements can cause high tensions between

 

children and tests how children control their emotions when there is a
confliction

 

of ideologies. However, adults could also be involved in helping aid the
social

 

development through play. Adults may provide the inspiration for play by

 

interacting with the children and therefore acting as a role model. Also,
the adult

 

could actually get involved with the play. This helps develop children’s
social

 

interactions with people of different ages. Overall, this all shows how
play in an

 

early years setting can help aid social development.

 

 

To conclude, overall play is very important in the early years setting.
It mostly

 

helps to develop children’s skills in life; whether it’s society’s norms
and values,

 

social, creative or emotional development. All of these skills can be
developed

 

through play. Therefore, this helps the children through life and
provides all they

 

need to adapt to changes in their life. All the evidence used supports
these

 

points and helps develop understanding of the importance of play in the
early

 

years setting.

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