According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth. In fact, play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.
How children interact with each other is influenced by their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Children will play and interact with each other differently based on where they are developmentally. As children grow and develop, the complexity of play grows and develops with them.
We’ve previously covered how physical and cognitive development impacts play. Let’s consider how social and emotional development impacts play.