According to Vygotsky, a seminal Russian Psychologist, social environment plays a crucial role in the cognitive development of the children and helps them understand complex processes and phenomenon of life. Since children are born with no understanding of the world, play initiates the need to learn more and more. It helps them gather all the information and then they connect the dots of the puzzle as they mature.
Now, what we can gather from more of the researches is that our children are born with certain mental tools that help them grasp the understanding of the world only if those hypothetical tools come into use and application. When one is a child, he or she, does not have the idea of how things work, how relationships are maintained, what moral values are, or what friendship is, etc. Social constructs like these are formed when the child is allowed to play with other children in school. It is important for children to play since it lays the foundation in following important core concepts:
- Allowing children to play outside helps them communicate effectively. Since language learning is more effective in ages between 2-7 years, it is appreciated that the children play with other kids in school or outside the home. It will help them communicate effectively later in life.
- Children who play in school have a higher level of confidence than the children who don’t play. Since the social friendship circle helps children understand each other, play builds confidence around social relationships.
- It lays the foundation for creativity. Children become creative when they play and use their curious minds in solving problems creatively. Curiosity enhances creativity and leads them to function effectively in many social situations.
- Play helps them understand other children. It leads to developing emotional intelligence and emotional well-being. Children can understand the needs of others and think that help from their side will make other children happy. Children who play outside tend to show more prosocial behaviour when they become adults because play forms the base of the crucial idea of helping others.
- When children are allowed to play, they learn how to solve problems together; they learn how to make decisions. It helps them express their feelings and thinking regarding the topic of the play. Play helps them bind and connect with other children emotionally and socially.
- A child can easily make sense of his or her surrounding by playing. He or she starts making schemas of concepts that he or she observes.
- Perception starts to build in children who play. They have their own perception of certain notions like, “How things are the way they are”. They give an explanation to every concept they come across with, while they ask and look curiously for the answers of other concepts that are hard to define.
There are many other social, cognitive, and emotional benefits that arise in the life of the child who plays. Parents and teachers should allow the kids to get together and play with each other as it can bring many health, cognitive, moral, and emotional benefits in the life of the child. That child will grow up and become a healthy individual with good communication skills.