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     Delmar-License#42004       Ravena-License#42005
The Importance of Play

PLAY AIDES LEARNING - The most important period of learning occurs in the first six to eight years of life. 

PLAY IS INVESTIGATIVE - Children engage in countless "doing" activities: handling, classifying, ordering, measuring and matching, all serve to enrich thinking. Children discover the "right approach through trial and error and through their own efforts rather than rigid direction from the adults. This way they can't be "wrong". When they are the "decision" makers... or inventors, ego development strengthens. 

PLAY ENCOURAGES DEEP INTEREST AND CLOSE ATTENTION 

PLAY IS A VOLUNTARY ACTION - When children have the opportunity to choose the method and procedure of a certain activity, they develop confidence and self-direction. There are no superimposed directions, no rigid rules. 

PLAY OFFERS CHILDREN FREEDOM OF ACTION - While organized play and adult-directed play has its place; children need freedom from well-meaning but restrictive organized "PLAY". 

PLAY PROVIDES AN IMAGINARY WORLD CHILDREN CAN MASTER - Children control their imaginary worlds and develop a sense of worth. 

PLAY PROVIDES A BASE FOR LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 

PLAY ENHANCES INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS - As children become involved with group play they learn what is not acceptable, or socially inappropriate behaviors. 

PLAY OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR MASTERY OF THE PHYSICAL SELF - Play promotes: facility in locomotion (movement); maximum use of energy; body control; running; jumping; pushing; pulling; hopping; climbing; balancing; throwing; and discovery of spatial concepts (left-right, up-down, big-little, front-back, fast-slow, etc.). 

PLAY IS A WAY OF LEARNING ADULT ROLES - Imitating the adult (recreating behavior, language and attitudes of important adults) is a rehearsal for adulthood. 

PLAY IS VITALIZING - Play offers children relief from routines and adult demands which is important as safety valves to release feelings of aggression and disapproval. Through imaginative play children confront and possibly resolve their fears and hurts. 

PLAY IS NOT A TIME OF WAITING FOR EDUCATION TO BEGIN. THE EARLY YEARS DEVELOP PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND INTEREST IN LEARNING