Playing isn‘t Just FunNot all parents are aware of the profound importance of play.

As Fred Rogers once said “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood” (Heidi Moore, 2011).

Play keeps children engaged and as they play they are concurrently developing an array of different skills.

Despite some people’s perceptions, learning and play are not mutually exclusive; in fact children learn best when they are engaged and enjoying themselves (Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff, Berk, & Singer, 2008).  It positively influences children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being (Ginsburg, 2007)

The importance of play in a child’s development is so significant that it has been recognised by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a basic right of every child (Office of the United Nations of High Commissioner for Human Rights., 1989).

Importance of play acknowledge by policy makers in Australia, as evident in The Early Year Learning Framework (“Learning and teaching through play Supporting the Early Years Learning Framework,” n.d.) in which there is a specific emphasis on learning through play.

Whilst establishing a disposition to learn assists children for formal education, there are other aspects of play that prepare children for school such as leaning to take turns, negotiate, and problem-solve. Other skills that can be readily learnt through play include; critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, adaptability, initiative and communication.

Playgroup offers a unique opportunity for a young child and his/her parent, to share quality time together, play and socialise.  They are a safe space where children can play and make social connections with their peers. In a physically, socially and emotionally safe environment children will take risks with their learning and exploration.

By attending your local playgroup your child will be given the opportunity to learn and grow with other children, develop the skills necessary to succeed in kindergarten and school and help your family create local connections that can last a lifetime.

To find out about the local playgroups in your area visit:

http://playgroupaustralia.org.au/about-playgroup/find-a-playgroup/

or call 1800 171 882.