Learning Centers and Play
Now, imagine that you have recently had several parents in your classroom ask you about why their child
is playing in the classroom.You have decided to write a letter to the parents to help them understand why
play has been incorporated into your classroom and how it is benefiting the development of their children.
Please post your letter as your initial response to this discussion.Your letter should include the following:
A description of why play is an important part of a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Be sure to
support your statements with at least one scholarly source.
An explanation of how play can help to support a child�s physical, cognitive, and affective development.
An example of one play-based activity that demonstrates to parents how play supports their child�s
development. For instance, you could explain how playing a game of hopscotch can help a child with their
gross motor skills (physical development) and counting (cognitive development). Please make sure that
your play-based activity is an original idea or that if you use an idea from an outside source it is properly
formatted according to APA as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Also, this should be a brief
description of an activity. It is not a lesson plan.
LEARNING CENTERS AND PLAY 2
Learning Centers and Play
A developmentally appropriate curriculum must incorporate play due to various reasons.
Scholarly texts indicate that play is a very vital way for a child to comprehend and memorize a
concept, skill and task that is required for purposes of setting a firm foundation for success in
later school and life. Play involves many aspects such as the ability to exercise free choice, self-
motivation, adherence to rules of play, the roles played by the children participating in the play,
and the environment in which the play is happening (Johnson, Christie & Yawkey, 1999).
Accordingly, children play not because of such rewards as food, money, or praise, but because
they like to play (Wardle, 1987).
Play can help in supporting the physical, cognitive, and affective development of a child.
Physical play assists a child’s development in gross and fine muscle strength as well as
integration of brain, nerves and muscles. According to Shore (1997), there is a remarkable
connection between brain development and stimulating activity. Children can also develop
affectively through social play which helps them to learn how to interact with others and other
aspects such as sharing, cooperation, reciprocity, and give and take. Different interactions in the
various stages of development also help children to learn to apply moral reason in their daily
endeavors. Cognitive development is achieved through a child’s ability to manipulate the
environment and innovate new things. This kind of play takes place in terms of the child
counting objects, constructing cities and towers with blocks, drawing, and playing in the sand.
Constructive play provides a child with opportunities to experiment with things around them.
After such kind of play, a child develops a sense of accomplishment and becomes motivated to
take control over the environment.
LEARNING CENTERS AND PLAY 3
Johnson, J.E., Christie, J.F., & Yawkey, T.D. (1999). Play and early childhood
development.(2nd ed.). New York: Longman.
Shore, R., (1997).Rethinking the brain. New insights into early development. New York:
Families and Work Institute.
Wardle, F. (1987). Getting back to the basics of children’s play. Child Care Information
Exchange, Sept., 27-30.