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02/24/2015
Play can seem mysterious; it’s something almost all mammals engage in, but its exact purpose can be unclear. As it happens, play is not simply a fun way to pass the time, it’s crucial for cognitive development. To learn more, read the following overview courtesy of The Tutoring Center in Sugar Hill.

A thorough study into play was conducted in 2012 by Dr David Whitebread of the University of Cambridge and a team of researchers, and found that:

There are five main types of play, each with different benefits

  1. Physical play - consisting of everything from jumping on the couch to play-wrestling a friend, physical play is key in developing coordination, motor skills, and physical strength and endurance. It’s also a great bonding method for children, and teaches them their initial social skills.
  2. Play with objects - playing with objects provides some of the first circumstances in which children set themselves goals and plan how to achieve them (building a particular shape out of blocks, for example), giving them the opportunity to work on their executive skills such as planning, prioritizing, and maintaining their attention.
  3. Symbolic play - play with symbols ranging from words through to music is a powerful means of creative expression, and it’s the cornerstone of a child’s early literary and linguistic development.
  4. Pretense - playing make-believe is one of the first and most powerful ways in which a child transitions from situational thinking to the more abstract thought required in adult life; it helps with complex problem-solving and deep conceptual thinking.
  5. Games with rules - playing with other children under the constraints of rules is a large part of a child’s education regarding social and moral life; learning to follow rules and ‘self-regulate’ to make sure that one’s behavior is not negatively impacting others is a vital part of growing into a well-rounded adult.

Video games

Interestingly, Dr Whitebread and his associates drew on a range of other contemporary research to find that, contrary to what many believe, playing video games does not seem to detract from children’s development unless they spend so much time playing these electronic games as to impact their time spent playing in other ways, playing with others, and performing other activities. Research would seem to indicate, then, that video games can be enjoyed in moderation!

You may find that your child is struggling with one of their school subjects, and if this is the case hiring a tutor can provide an effective solution. To take advantage of The Tutoring Center’s Geniuses in Training academic programs, contact 678-926-9475 and organize tutoring in Sugar Hill today.

Make sure to read our previous posts for other helpful guides and overviews on topics such as coping with test anxiety.

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