Play is a natural activity of childhood much more than just physical activity and is an instrument of learning in most of the montessori school. It is such an integral part of every child's life, that it is natural, enjoyable, voluntary, spontaneous and non goal directed expenditure of surplus energy. play as activities not consciously performed for the sake of any result beyond themselves and can be described as anything spontaneous, natural or fun.
Play had intrinsic motivation, children play as a result of some inner drive and not from external pressures. Activities were pursued for their own sake and not for reasons determined by individuals. it is an essential function of the passage from immaturity to maturity. Play is certainly a serious business to a pre-school child, and she/he spends much time, thought and energy on it.
Play helps children develop in all basic areas, physical, intellectual, social and emotional. In the physical realm, play develops the large muscles as children lift blocks, jump, climb ladders, throw balls etc. The small muscles develop as the children cut with scissors, draw with crayons, paint with brush, complete puzzles, put buttons, lace, zipper and tie articles of clothing. Play also develops intellectual skills as children share and communicate through language, examine
colours, shapes and sizes and relationships through block play, sand play and painting. Play develops social skills when number of children co-operate with each other to achieve a common goal. Play is certainly a serious business to a little child and the child spends much time, thought and energy. Play relieves tension and through play a child would be able to express underlying emotional conflict in his most natural language.
The only important activity of the child in montessori school is play. Participation of children in play with the help of carefully choosen play material is likely to enhance their physical and motor co-ordination, fulfills the need to touch, jump and feel. Cognitive growth provides opportunities for making associations for sorting, for seeing size and form. Development in social and emotional aspects which fulfills the need to feel joy and sorrow. Play also helps children to appreciate mutual dependence in the activities of give and take. Finally play definitely improves language and communication skills besides creating curiosity.
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