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ERIC Number: ED400951
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Play: An Important Component of Preventative Behavior Management.
Patrick, Teri
This paper discusses linkages between play, healthy social and emotional development, and behavior management in young children. Play is defined as pleasurable, self-motivated, non-goal-directed, and spontaneous behavior, free from adult-imposed rules. Many children have limited time available for play because they are directed by adults in day care and after school programs, because they attend schools in which recess has been eliminated and physical education time reduced, or because they live in unsafe neighborhoods where they are not allowed to play in their own yards. Some studies suggest that a lack of play opportunities could be a cause of the gradual worsening in behavior problems and the increase in juvenile violence in the last 15 years. Psychologists such as Vygotsky, Piaget, and Bruner point to the importance of play for development. Studies suggest that play may meet children's psychological needs for belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Play may also contribute to the development of social skills, and it may reduce tension and anxiety. By providing time and materials for dramatic play, teachers can help children cope with stress and help them learn skills such as creativity, sequential memory, group cooperation, receptive vocabulary, impulse control, and perspective-taking. Play can also be used to teach problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. In addition to social skills, as children master physical skills in play, their self-esteem is enhanced, and they gain self-knowledge, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-expression. This paper suggests that teachers and child care providers become advocates for children's play. (Contains 24 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A