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The importance of play for young students at Northbridge

Lovell Richardson
Lovell Richardson (2 posts) Kindergarten & Grade 1 Level Leader View Profile

Why is play important for learners at Northbridge International School Cambodia? Allowing your child opportunities to play is essential for their development, throughout their education journey. Play enhances their cognitive development and thinking skills, social and emotional skills, as well as physical skills.

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Playground

For a baby a simple game of ‘peek-a-boo’ is teaching them to interact and take turns, improving their coordination and teaching them how to move parts of their body, it is also providing excitement and joy.

Creative role play and pretend play, where children may dress up and fantasise about being someone different, enhances their creative thinking skills. Physical games such as basketball, teach children logical and strategic thinking, social skills and how to lose, as well as improving their physical anatomy.

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood Fred Rogers

Piaget’s cognitive development theory and how play can enhance these ideas. 

  • The sensorimotor stage, for babies up to the age of 2 years, is where learning is acquired through movement and actions. In a stimulating environment babies will have the opportunity to manipulate objects and experience a range of sensory experiences.

  • The preoperational stage comes next, for children up to 7 years of age. This is where pretend pay can be the stimulus for creative thinking and language development. 

  • The concrete operational stage, from 7 to 11 years. This is where thinking skills become more refined and logical. Learners will begin to understand and accept different perspectives. Role play in this stage will offer a good opportunity for learners to solve different problems and experience a variety of different perspectives from their peers.

  • The formal operational stage, ages 12 and up. Is where Piaget believed learners could develop more abstract, moral and philosophical thinking.

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Early Learning

As well as being crucial for your child’s development, play is also known to release endorphins in the brain (the happy hormone) and can alleviate stress.

Though you may not notice it, children can feel stress from many different factors in their everyday lives, if play can offer comfort and relief, then this is something vital we should support and make time for each day, at Northbridge and at home.