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The importance of play in learning

Current trends in early years teaching focus on the importance of play in the child`s learning and development process. It highlights how play can help the child improve and learn different motor and sensorial skills and abilities such as perception of colour, shapes and texture with plasticine and blocks, sound distinction , and the benefits in second language acquisition,with instruments, learning about concepts such as clean and dirty, dry and wet, with dolls and water, movement with transport toys or making sense of the world around them with dramatizations and small world games. Children can benefit from the three types of play: adult led play activities are more controlled and therefore better suited to help the child getting engaged with activities that he is less familiar with or whose complexities would make them difficult for the child to access. Adult iniciated activities are ideal to give direction to activities that the child is familiar with or are easily accessible for him. Finally, Child initiated activities are well suited to enhance his creativity and imagination and reasurance.

The authors make the point that work and play should not be separated and should come together and integrated in de educational pr0cess of the child. I cannot but agree totally with them.

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