Play is a key component of our early childhood program because it promotes well-rounded, three-dimensional development– engaging children emotionally, mentally, and actively.
Play develops emotional maturity through social interactions. When children play together, there is ample opportunity for socialization. By learning to share, to agree, and to cooperate, children learn how to be part of a social group. This understanding is essential for the formation of positive human relationship and is one of the important life lessons children begin to learn in our preschool.
According to Joseph Chilton Pearce, a well-known author on human intelligence an creativity, "Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance... /children at play are not doing one thing with their hands or bodies, thinking something else in their minds, and speaking something else with their voice as we adults tend to do. They are totally absorbed inter play-world, absolutely one with their talk of play...Through this discipline, true concentration an done-pointedness develop" (Pearce, 1993).
Not only does play help to develop a child's attention span (an area of great concern today) it also gives rise to imaginative and divergent thinking, enabling children to consider situations and to solve problems in a variety of different ways (Understanding Waldorf Education, 2002, p. 40-41).