Discuss Play in Relation to the Teaching and Learning of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy in the Early Years.

Discuss play in relation to the teaching and learning of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in the Early Years.
Children observe and participate in maths within various settings, such as at home, nursery or school, which is carried out during day to day activities. This may vary from estimating the quantity of toothpaste to place on the toothbrush, pouring cereal to telling the time.  
According to Tucker (2005), children learn about mathematics through play. He further explains how children can repeat, rehearse and refine their skills during play. It is not a formal aspect of teaching as children are free to explore their surrounding environment. Bruce (2005) later explains how play is the foundation of learning as through everyday play, children are learning life skills which help them to develop later on in life. Children are constantly using their imagination and expressing themselves during play. Play in the Early Years is vital as it develops many aspects such as communication skills, social and emotional, literacy etc…
This is supported by the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage:
“Learning for young children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, practice, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes”. QCA (2000:20)
Play allows children to put themselves into control, provides opportunity to build relationships with others, increasing their confidence and giving the child a sense of identity.
Many practitioners emphasise outdoor play especially within numeracy development, where there is more space for children to take risks, for example, experiencing different types of weather, use various materials etc. It also greatly improves their physical skills as well as other areas of development.

Play can influence the process of learning and is seen as an abstract way of learning. The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile...