Social Play: The Power Of Play In Child Development

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In general, playing is the mutual popular activity among children because playing is fun and flexible, it can be personal, with the presence of others or with the social presence of others (De Kort & Ijsselsteijn, 2008). The researchers and experts believe that the power of play has an important psychological role in children’s development, as reinforced by Sutton-Smith (1993, p. 279) using “play as progress” and “play ethos” by Peter Smith (1988, p. 166) both cited in Pellegrini (1995). Goldstein (2012) stated that pretend play is one of the common types of interactive social play among 2- to 6-years-old children. He also mentioned that as children grow, the nature and function of pretend play will also change from simple imitation to more sophisticated joint activity. Pretend play is a play behaviour that portrays during imaginative play, fantasy play and sociodramatic play and they tend to be used interchangeably (Fein, 1981). During a pretend play that involves social play, it has an important role in children’s development especially in social and emotional aspect (Bodrova, 2008). Although social skill is independent of emotional skills, but, highly dependent on one another especially during childhood development which also known as socio-emotional development (Denham et al., 2003; Veiga, Neto and Rieffe, 2016). Cohen, Onunaku, Clothier, and Poppe, (2005) enlightened that social-emotional development is one’s 1) ability to experience, express and manage the full range

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