You recognize some things wherever you see them. For example, if you see several children interacting, you will immediately know if they are playing. So the play is easy to recognize, but difficult to identify. Playing, have different meanings from the eyes of the child and the eyes of the adult. It’s an invitation. The play grows, enriches, satiates and develops us at any age. It puts us at the center of unexpected, adventurous discoveries. The open-ended, unpredictable content of the play makes it even more interesting. The fact the play has a driving force that triggers ideas, dreams and emotions affects children’s attention and focus skills. Play is also very valuable in the context of children’s rights and democracy, as it allows children to master their participation and decision-making processes. Children actively enact cultural experiences through their play so that they can internalize them. Although the play is the cultural interaction arena of the child, it is also the culture that arises amongst their peers. Playing is a common language, where children can understand each other most deeply.
Playing Makes Children Visible
For adults, while playing is perceived as an action in which children fill their spare time, for children it is their most serious occupation that covers their entire life. Playing makes children visible because while they are playing children can reflect their inner world. Playing is the most natural experience area where the emotions, thoughts, interests and needs of the children are covered in flesh. Playing is in harmony with the nature of the child and they born prone to playing games. In parallel with their age, the types and contents of their playing vary but the interest in the playing continues for life.
Playing is Child’s Production Space
The behavior of today’s children towards consumption is remarkable. However, playing is a child’s production space. Children produce ideas and turn them into action during playing. Therefore, it is an effective experience that makes the child from idle to being productive and useful. As children are moving in both physically, emotionally and mentally, while playing, it is the most productive opportunity to support the multidimensional development of children.
Children Need To Touch and Build To Learn
Playing causes children who are social individuals, to interact with people, objects, and places. In this context, the play forms the basis for the development of secure attachments by building relationships. Children are entrepreneurs, taking risks is their most natural reaction. They cannot learn without trying. They need to touch and build. Playing is an experience that children learn first hand. Playing is not built for a purpose, but playing to play is one of the interests that children have and they also play to play. The best job children can do is to play. And playing is not a tool of fun for only a certain age. It’s for everyone. Playing is the specialty performance of childhood. Children who can not speak each other’s language, build a bridge between them by playing. Playing is the most real experience that children can reflect on their dreams.
Playing is the priority of children in all conditions and their main occupations that they can never give up. Children play with their free will and initiative to express themselves. The fact that playing is the most important resource in meeting the pleasure requirements makes it reconciling and indispensable for positive experiences.
Playing Connects With The World
Children are curious and never hesitate to be a part of a new experience. Their discovering mind makes them natural explorers. Playing is the most creative and natural learning way to connect with the world. Children become ready to learn when they are willing and needing. At this point, playing is an area where children fulfill their learning needs. While children do not play only to play, they learn naturally during the process of it. Children are always enthusiastic about playing everywhere and with everything. This means that the children are open for exploring things while they are playing. Playing evoke children. Human development follows a line from center to outside, from top to bottom, from general to specific. Playing progress from the infancy to the level where more social and higher-level mental abstractions can be made. Playing is proof of healthy growth and development. Healthy children play games and as they play, they become healthier, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
Playing has content and that content has a context. Content of the playing affected by the child’s temperament and environment that they live in. Playing is the reflection of children’s pre-learning. Playing also gives children the opportunity to get to know themselves. Playing also gives children the opportunity to get to know themselves. Children become aware of their interests, their strong and open areas for development through the games they play. It allows the child to discover himself and change in the direction of development. Children can spend less time playing as they get older, and the state of playlessness can cause them to become adults who are more stressed, unable to control anger and have focusing problems in the adult world. Because we know that playing is a healing, restorative, complementary facilitator in case of coping with negative situations.
Playing is a design process, children build their own play practices. It is a partial initiative and personal discovery space. Knowing all this means being a play literate.
What Does “Being A Play Literate Means?”
Being a play literate means basically understanding the children’s play needs, providing them with a safe and enriched environment to meet their needs, and understanding their interests, emotions and thoughts through play. Children’s play helps us to predict their inner and outer worlds. In this context, while children are playing, children should be able to watch and see the source of the play content. Being a play literate serves to communicate with children through the language of play, to establish quality communication and to strengthen the bond between us and the child. That is why I urge all teachers, parents, care providers, play and toy designers, health workers, urban designers who are with children to become play literate.