What Is Age-Appropriate Play for Young Children?
Children and play go together. For most people who work with young children, play has a central place in childhood. The Association for Childhood Education International, for example, “recognizes the need for children of all ages to play and affirms the essential role of play in children’s lives” (p. 33). 1 Even so, play has recently become a focus of controversy, with some decision makers moving away from using play-based curricula in early childhood programs. Some adults may not understand that play has educational and developmental purposes. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), ” Play is an important vehicle for children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, as well as a reflection of their development.” 2 This FAQ introduces some aspects of play and lists resources for readers who want to explore the topic further.