Children's Development Being Influenced by Play

What evidence is there that children’s development is influenced by play with siblings and peers?

There are four main areas to the term “development”: personality, cognitive development, social development and biological development.   Many aspects influence our development in all these areas and the relationships that we have with others are a significant factor.   The relationships that we have with adults (parents and others), our peers and siblings are all involved with this.   The way in which we play with others helps the development of our self too.   Play is the natural, most effective and most powerful way in which a child learns.   Through play children learn to concentrate, to try out ideas, to imitate grown-ups, to explore the world around them, to develop their imagination, to participate, share and socialise.   Young children at play are the most fervent explorers constantly making new discoveries.

Play also helps children to manage their feelings and to cope with upsetting things that may happen in their lives.   Children develop intellectually through play, for example hitting a mobile and making it move, they can learn about cause and effect, about space and size and shape.   Play helps build relationships as well as being relaxing and fun, and children are able to develop socially and emotionally.

For many of us, the relationships that we have with siblings have a profound effect upon our lives, whether we love our brothers and sisters, or find them extremely irritating and difficult to get along with.   Over 80 per cent of people have at least one sibling and our sibling relationships are extremely long lasting – often the most long lasting that we ever experience, so in terms of influence the effect is huge.   Sibling relationships may involve high familiarity and can be emotionally inhibitive and intense and this can problematic and beneficial to the brothers and sisters.

Theorists, such as Froebel and Piaget, and more recently Bruce, and...