Playground Background

Play has been proven a vital part of child development. It is the primary way young children learn a variety of skills, and is an essential part of everyday life. There are three major categories of development: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.  Problem solving skills, such as those needed for language and math, are cognitive. Affective encompasses the interactive skills, such as sharing, cooperation, and emotion expression. The third, psychomotor, includes coordination. Play is an extremely useful tool, as it combines a variety of these categories at a single time, allowing a child to unknowingly integrate numerous ways of learning (Brett et al., 1993).

Play can be divided into two categories, the “social dimension” and the “content dimension” (Brett et al., 1993).  In the first, children interact with one another and acquire the necessary skills to make the interaction successful. These include the abilities to work together, cooperate, and communicate with one another. In the second, children adjust their activities based on what is given. They learn to adapt to different situations and materials, which facilitates the child’s motor skills (Brett et al., 1993).

Development is positively affected by play. During play, children adapt to new environments and are forced to utilize what is given to achieve what they want to do, and this process helps problem-solving skills develop. They must be creative and imaginary, turning the things they are given into the toys they want them to be. There are no set rules, allowing for creative thought. When playing with others, children develop games, devise relationships, and enhance communication. Children better their social skills as well as language while they interact with one another.  Children learn how to observe their surroundings and engage in a specific activity, strengthening their attention span (Brett et al., 1993). Play is a necessary tool used for children to grow and thrive in a social community. Many of the children in Monwabisi Park are not given the opportunity to play in safe areas dedicated to their enjoyment, and therefore they are deprived of ways to enhance their abilities. By creating playgrounds, more children in Monwabisi Park will be given the chance to play in a designated area.  One such area is called an Emthonjeni, which is an outreach program designed to construct playgrounds in designated areas, such as taps or soup kitchens, where children can play while being supervised by adults.