Play is the pedagogical strategy par excellence, since it is the form of expression and exploration used by children. Through these they learn, express their desires and fantasies, which contributes to their happiness, well-being and encourages them to connect with their pleasant emotions. This is what the psychologist and educator lets know Nancy Patricia Cano, who explains that play in children favors the development of their communicative, cognitive, motor, affective and social skills.
According to Jean Piaget, play is basically a relationship between the child and the environment. It is the way to know, accept and build your relationships and the environment in which it develops. For his part, Albert Einstein, defines playing as “the highest form of investigation”, because while children play they apply the scientific method.
“In this sense, you will be able to verify that when your child plays, the first thing he does is observe, then he makes a hypothesis, then he experiments with the resources at his disposal and finally draws his conclusions,” says Canó.
Through play you can promote that your child:
1. Develop socio-affective skills, that allow you to interact with the environment that surrounds you, expressing affection and establishing positive relationships with your friends, colleagues and people around you.
2. Express your feelings, emotions and thoughts.
3. Maximize your attention span, concentration and perceiving the environment through all your senses.
4. Internalize moral values, norms and rules of coexistence that will serve as a basis for promoting social relationships in the present and in adult life.
5. Be able to make positive decisions and solve daily life problems.
6. Build your self-esteem and individuality; respecting the physical differences, cultures, religions, abilities and interests of all.
7. Formulate ideas clearly and consistency both orally and in writing.
8. Achieve good coordination visomotor.
9. Define adequately its laterality.
Games that children enjoy according to their age
0 to 2 years, I play solitaire. In this stage, the child’s play focuses on himself, on his body and on the exploration of the objects that surround him. Children this age delight in shaking rattles, tossing balls, or fitting pieces together. They do not play cooperatively with other children, but they need the presence of the adult who gives them emotional security and enriches their play by adding new elements and experiences that stimulate all their senses.
2 to 3 years, parallel play. At this age, children like to play in the company of others, but they are not yet interacting with them. They play close to them, but not with them. At this stage you should not wait or insist that they share toys or resources, because their emotional maturity still does not allow them. 3 to 4 years, associative play. Children share the same space and materials. They even imitate each other and become interested in the children around them. However, still each child plays independently and there is no common goal in the game. It is perceived as if they are playing together. But, there is no evidence of rules or agreements between them.
4 to 5 years, cooperative play. At this age is when the game finally becomes an organized structure between different groups and teamwork is evident. Children will be interested in both the other children and the materials they are using. The group will be more ‘formal’, it will probably have a leader and other assigned roles, which aim to find a common goal or specific tasks.