A play is a natural and most easily available outlet for
children's expression of needs and feelings. It is the necessary stimulation
for optimal development and support for their natural curiosity.
Spontaneous play evolves from children's need for self
expression, mastery in the environment and integration of past and current
experiences. Young children play with exhilaration and total enjoyment. A play
is important for the children's physical, psycho social, and intellectual
The play encourages muscle activity
and muscle tone. It also, helps to develop skills and balancing in various
The play provides a place for children to compensate for
feelings of smallness and helplessness. During the play children experience
control over the objects and the environment, while they have very little
control over events in the reality.
They learn to control their feelings. In dramatic play,
children practice before one another the roles they will some day play as
parents, providers, teachers, gardener, and so on. Through the play, children
search for their own present identity and imagine the possible future identity.
The play provides an opportunity for the acceptable outlet of their negative
Children develop the capacity to cooperate with their peers;
Group plays provides opportunities to develop skills and social interactions
and to realize the consequences of control their impulses and learn the meaning
of sharing experiences.
Through the play children learn the
of' space, color, form, shape, distance, height, and speed. Children create and
practice problem-solving techniques. They develop better skills.
They increase their attention span,
and develop an ability to concentrate. They experience the joy of achievement.
Through the play activities they improve their communication skills. Children
can play whenever and wherever they wish to play. There is no need of special
clothes, toys or space.
Selection of Toys:
It is important to provide toys suitable for children's
physical and psychosocial development. Toys may not be expensive but must be
able to create interest in the children.
The toys should be safe, durable, attractive, appealing, and
suitable to the needs, age, and experience of the children.
The toys which can cause injuries or which are
accident-prone should be avoided. For example, the toys with sharp edges, rough
edges, inflammable, with the small removable parts, and those, which are
painted with the lead, should be avoided, because of the risk of injury.
The characteristics of play changes
according to the age, environment, and developmental level of the children. The
playground equipment should be selected to suit the children's developmental
need. These equipments should be checked frequently to avoid accidents.
Other materials for indoor and
outdoor games should be chosen carefully to promote exploration, develop
problem solving ability, develop concept formation, and encourage
Adult' s guidance is required for
assisting children in relating to each other and for providing safety,
self-respect, and for the intellectual and emotional development
Play in the hospital:
The play is a very important
component of children's life. It has special importance in the hospital to help
sick children to continue to grow and develop, to preserve their sense of
wholeness, to understand hospital procedures, and to act out emotions.
For the hospitalized children, the
hospital is a new environment with a new routine. Sick children, suffering from
pain and confusion may, be under the stress. The family routine, friends, and
parents are missed. Children need to vent out their feelings, emotions, and
tensions. The play helps, temporarily, to divert their mind from pain and
The nurse must remember the
following factors while selecting play for the sick children:
The capacity of the children to play
during their illness
Limitations of play and toys for an
Sick children may prefer small
simple toys. The interest of the children to enjoy play. The maintenance of the
There should be a separate playroom in the unit, if
possible, with play material for the sick children who ambulate.