By Henna Viertio
ECE Specialist / Kujo’s Kid Zone Board Member
August 4, 2019

According to newest research shared play between an adult and a child encourages development and strengthens the child.  Children are naturally curious and eager to learn and they investigate and learn through play and exploration. Play is created through interaction.

Play is a child’s way to make sense of the world and practice his or her understanding of right and wrong. Playing together also teaches the child to play alone. In his or her play scenarios a child examines and explores the experiences of the day and practices wonderful new ideas. Playing together creates shared joy and strengthens healthy attachment. In good quality play, two minds meet to explore reality and imagination. Play can appear ordinary, but it is quite incredible that a 1-yearl-old child is able to pretend to serve his mother tea and enjoy shared and cooperative symbolic play.

At its best play takes a child on a happy, spontaneous and imaginative journey towards discovery. Art, culture and science development is made possible through play. Development is always based on play, creating and visualizing with one’s mind, freeing the mind from the ordinary. This is why connecting generations through play is so vital. All the participants learn something new and find hope for the future. Separation causes insecurity and disbelief, and togetherness creates hope and trust.

Play is miniature human life: everything related to life can be explored through play. There is danger and robbers, survival and accomplishments, competition and misfortune, coincidences and subtlety, there is love, fear, but above all, there is hope. In life, rules are necessary and we practice applying and modifying them through play.

Play develops child’s imagination and creativity, which helps him face the many tasks and challenges of life. Attentiveness and understanding cause and effect are practiced through play. Furthermore, child practices accomplishment and failure and develops courage for a successful life. It is not easy, however necessary.

Imagination opens the door to the development of empathy- our ability to imagine how others feel and to relate to them in a sympathetic way. By softening, balancing and correcting reality, imagination also allows enduring reality. Through imagination we can build our dreams for a better future.

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