Most people can quickly identify what is happening when they see a child or group of children playing. “What are they doing?” If a question is asked, they can answer that they are playing a game. However, if we ask them to define what the game is, they will use different expressions and create different definitions. Professionals are also included in these definition differences. The game; It is a phenomenon that includes creative, rational, flexible, open to change and innovation behaviors, feelings and thoughts that players enjoy. The game directs the players to adapt, take risks, wonder and solve problems. It has an important and prominent place in children’s lives.
Children grow by playing as much as they grow by feeding and sleeping. Children have the opportunity to try their own reality, instincts and motivations in the game. They gain perspective by imitating the alternative ways of life events they experience in the game. For events they have never experienced yet, they gain coping strategies through imitation and experimentation. They experience the process of cooperation and adaptation in group games. However, the game does not have to serve any purpose for the child. The game is the reward itself, the motivation is purely internal and spontaneous, exhilarating, without any expectation of reward.
In comparative studies with children, it has been observed that the children of divorced families mostly play aggressive and destructive games in the year after the divorce. Children who are affected by negative life events in the family reflect this on their games, telling us that play is actually a way of treatment at the same time. It alleviates the burden of traumatic or challenging life events experienced with play. Not only do they use the play to showcase their past and past situations, they also create the opportunity to demonstrate their unspoken concerns and rehearse to find a solution for them.
Many steps of a challenging development process such as recognizing emotions and regulating them are learned through play as well as life events. Children have the opportunity to experience and recognize many emotions such as joy, fear, anger, love and excitement in the game. In addition, he learns empathy, interpersonal relationships and communication by taking on different roles in the game. Thanks to social games, he learns to take responsibility and to obey the rules.
To summarize, play is a vital activity for a child as much as feeding, sheltering and sleeping. We worry about our child not getting enough sleep and leaving the table before his stomach is full. We fear it will negatively affect his growth. What about being left without a game…?