Explain the Importance of Play to Children’s Learning and Development and the Need for an Inclusive Approach.

Assignment Task 2


Outcome 5.1

Explain the importance of play to children’s learning and development and the need for an inclusive approach.

Play is central to all aspects of learning from birth onwards: social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and physical.

    • Playing is fun: it is how children enjoy themselves.

    • Play promotes children’s development, learning, imagination, creativity and independence.

  • Play can help to keep children healthy and active.

  • Play allows children to experience and encounter boundaries, learning to assess and manage risk in their lives; both physical and social.

  • Play helps children to understand the people and places in their lives, learn about their environment and develop their sense of community.

  • Play allows children to find out about themselves, their abilities, their interests and the contribution they can make.

  • Play can be therapeutic. It helps children to deal with difficult or painful circumstances such as emotional stress or medical treatment.

  • Play can be a way of building and maintaining important relationships with friends, carers and family members.

Tina Bruce identified 12 Features of Play (2001):

  1. Using first hand experiences.

  2. Making up rules.

  3. Making props.

  4. Choosing to play.

  5. Rehearsing the future.

  6. Pretending.

  7. Playing alone.

  8. Playing together.

  9. Having a personal agenda.

  10. Being deeply involved.

  11. Trying out recent learning.

  12. Coordinating ideas, feelings and relationships for free-flow play.

She believed that if more than half are present, the play is quality play.

The Charter for Children’s Play sets out a vision for play, outlining the basic principles of what play means to children and what we should do to promote their right to enjoy it.
It is underpinned by article 31 of the UN Convention on the rights of the child.