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´╗┐Teaching Art Through Play Can Help Boost Creativity In Kids

from: Jennifer Morton - Guest Writer

For children play is naturally enjoyable, and since it represents their active enagagement in things that interest them, play should be child-led or at least child-inspired.

This ensures that their play remains relevant and meaningful to them, as children at play are happily lost in themselves. When they are playing, they are totally engrossed in their own realm of wonder and exploration and adventure.

As early as infancy, children immerse themselves in play activities with the purpose of making sense of the world around them. Play gives children the opportunity to develop their creative faculties, by learning and experiencing the wonder and excitement of the world for themselves, which is vital for their development.

Although peek-a-boo games may seem pointless to adults, tots are awed by the surprise that awaits them as they see the suddenly emerging faces of the people they love.

Stages Of Play!

During their years as toddlers, children experience an irresistable urge to fiddle about with anything they can get their hands on, whether it is a toy or the box which it came from. Toddlers also love breaking into song, wiggling and jiggling to tunes, and imitating finger plays which they are commonly exposed to.

Children of pre school age begin to extend their play activities to involve others, whether they bring the others in at any stage of the game, or they have planned their game and its players way ahead. Their physical and movement skills allow them to widen their play arena from dramatic play, to table games to outdoor pursuits etc.

School age children start appreciating organized play, such as innovated songs and rhymes, games with rules, and relays and other such physical activities. These can also include sports, and similar projects that they can accomplish in a certain time frame.

The Benefits Of Playing!

What is the big fuss about play activities for children anyway! Surely a child could learn about creativity and art through some other less strenuous medium for instance! That would be less likely, because for a child, play is not a tedious thing, but rather play activities benefit him or her in ways that might be a tad difficult for adults to imagine.

- Playing brings pure joy.

For example a toddler who jumps into an empty box and runs around the house "driving a car", shows the sheer happiness that play can bring. When children are asked what they did in school and they answer that they "played", it is a clear sign that these kids remember a feeling of genuine joy that is captured for them in this four letter word.

- Play fosters social and emotional learning.

What does a ten month old baby who shrieks with pleasure at the sight of her stuffed toy, have in common with a ten year old girl who plays basketball with her friends! They are both dealing with their confidence as they choose to embark on their play activities, and at the same time they are displaying their independence in the decisions that they make.

These two children are also internalizing social rules in their respective play situations, the baby has to wait patiently for his or her stuffed toy to be given to them, while the school age child has to contend with the possibility of an impending loss in a ball game.

What play can do to foster creativity therefore, also includes physical and mobility development, cognitive learning and language development, and also creativity, and imaginative thinking and bonding opportunities.

While some parents tend to dismiss play as simply something that is useless and unnecessary, researchers will tell us otherwise, namely that play is a vital part of a child's overall development. So while he or she is still interested in playing, let him or her spread his wings and develop his own world.

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