Play-The Best Brain-Builder
Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.
– Joseph Chilton Pearce
Play and learning always go together because ‘children learn as they play and in play children learn how to learn’, remarks O. Fred Donaldson. Children learn about everything in and through play. It has been beautifully observed that ‘when we deny young children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world.’ It plays a very crucial role in the holistic development of children and enhances the development of their brain. If play is so vital and decisive to the holistic development of children, it should be very seriously considered and emphatically made an integral part of every curriculum and every education system. Abraham Maslow, the great American Psychologist has succinctly said that ‘almost all creativity involves purposeful play’, because it offers quality time and adequate space for children to enter into their own world, to unearth their innate talents, arouse their dormant potential, explore new avenues and discover their inner world.
Alice S. Armanious has wisely stated the magnitude of play in the lives of children in the following words: ‘Children learn about their world through playing.’ Play can be defined as a free, spontaneous and challenging activity that has the infinite power to invigorate one’s fervour, ignite one’s curiosity, trigger one’s imagination and stimulate one’s creativity. It provides children with creative challenges, wonderful opportunities for exploration and tremendous scope for creative expression. It provides them the ideal and the most conducive environment that enables them to vent their suppressed feelings and emotions. Most importantly, play provides a learning that is personalised, creative and progressive. It also provides children with great opportunities to engage themselves with their own inner selves in a safe yet fun-filled and challenging environment wherein they are able to discover their true selves. It is a proven fact that play enables children to increase their knowledge, widen their horizon, strengthen their will, enhance their critical thinking, develop their creativity, stimulate their imagination and augment their leadership skills. It helps them develop their logical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills to a great extent. Play is essential for the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development because it enables them to be active, alive and adventurous.
Play has the magical power to kindle the Spark of Divinity within children. Having realized the paramount importance of play, the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) strongly advocates making play a significant part of the life of children in order to help them to be happy, fully developed, educated, innovative, responsible and confident persons. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, has brilliantly stated that ‘play is the highest form of research.’ Therefore, every parent who is their first teacher and every teacher who is their second parent has a moral responsibility to encourage, enable and empower their children to become what they are meant to be by providing them with sufficient time, ample opportunities and creative space to play, to learn and to grow.
Play helps children to grow towards physical, intellectual, emotional and social maturity. It provides a perfect platform on which children can cultivate their imagination, creativity, doggedness and team spirit. Play is a simple yet a powerful means of children’s expression of their emotions, aspirations and feelings. It is very crucial for the development of various skills and abilities. If skilfully employed, it can discover the genius within the children because it has the power to stimulate and trigger their brain. Most importantly it enables children to be enthusiastic and diligent in everything that they see and touch.
Play is an integral part of childhood that provides children with the most conducive environment and the finest opportunities for optimal growth and exceptional development. It is not an exaggeration to state that the only way to make one’s childhood a happy and memorable one is in and through play. ‘Play is the exultation of the possible’, said Martin Buber ascertaining the significance of play for children. It has been proven time and again by scholars that play helps in the extraordinary development of the children’s brain cells. This might be the reason that would have inspired Diane Ackerman to acclaim that ‘play is our brain’s favourite way of learning.’
Play which is universal in nature emancipates children from all sorts of inhibitions and transcends them to a higher level. It plays a significant role in making children socially sensitive and responsible human beings as they grow. It inspires them to be eternally positive in thought, word and deed. It also connects them with everything – their thoughts, their feelings, their aspirations, their imagination and their dreams and the world that they live in.
If our children are denied the space, time and opportunity to play and explore, they will certainly be deprived of the most cherished part of their childhood. It is very true that play is the beginning of imagination, the foundation of creativity and the treasure trove of knowledge. Play, the Brain-Builder, therefore, is the Quintessence, the Crest and the Grandeur of childhood.
M. Alfred William is the Principal of Wisdom Wealth International School (Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu), a Progressive School that strives to mould and shape globallLeaders through a life-oriented and personalized learning.
He has served as a Teacher, Sports Secretary, Cultural Secretary, Vice-Principal, Principal and Manager in five different schools in India since 2006. He served as the Correspondent and Principal of St. Patrick’s Academy, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu before taking up the responsibility of Principal at Wisdom Wealth International School He has a great passion for teaching and learning and enjoys the responsibility of being a school administrator. He is a voracious reader and loves sports and games. He holds master’s degrees in English, Computer Science, Education and Business Administration. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Sciences. He firmly believes that EDUCATION can change one’s destiny by changing one’s mental attitude. Therefore, he strives to become a great educator in order to bring revolution and innovation in the field of education. He can be contacted at email@example.com