Master´s Thesis 2020 Urban Challenges

Jan Dankmeyer

The Importance of Play

“There are opportunities for play everywhere. Curiosity is playful; ideas can be playful; asking questions can be playful.”

Toy designer Cas Holman in the documentary “Abstract” (Netflix, 2019)

The Definition of Play

Children learn through play. This is universally accepted among experts around the entire world (Whitebread, Coltman, Jameson & Lander, 2009). However, due to its spontaneity and unpredictability, play is a phenomenon that is difficult for researchers to define. Although opinions in the academic world vary regarding the impacts of play on the learning outcome, there is a consensus of the value of play for children’s learning within the early years’ educational community (Whitebread, 2009). Additionally, the United Nations have recognised “Play” as a fundamental human right (United Nations, 1989).

Play Fosters the Development of Problem-solving and Creativity Skills

Several studies have shown the involvement of play fosters the development of self-regulation and meta-cognitive processes including representational abilities, which are particularly significant in intentional learning involved in the development of problem-solving and creativity skills (Whitebread et al., 2009)

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