Importance Of Play

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As humans, all of us are entitled to human rights and children are entitled to their own rights. This comes in the form of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989) as world leaders recognised that people under the age of 18 might need special care and consideration. Under the CRC, the articles listed recognised the child’s rights to various issues such as the “inherent right to life” from Article 6.1 and the “right to freedom of expression” from Article 13.1. It even recognises the “right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child” as seen from Article 31.1. This signifies the importance of play in a child’s life. There are many theories that support play as a way for the child to develop socially, cognitively and emotionally. Despite it being easy to list down various play activities, it is difficult to come up with a set definition for it although it is widely accepted that play should very much be free, unstructured and mostly child-initiated. The purpose of play and the supposed benefits the different types of play aids in the development of a child will be further discussed. Given that play is such an integral part of a child’s life, based on evolutionary perspectives, there has to be a reason why children engage in play and thus classical play theories attempt to explain the purpose of play. These include Surplus Energy theory, Recreational theory by Lazarus (1883), Practice

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