By David Yu
Play is one of the most important parts of developing a child’s personality and psychology for the future. It allows for the growth of cognitive thinking and interaction with the world for a child, as well as the development of creativity. Playing is a voluntary act that gives the player satisfaction and enjoyment, which can take place in a variety of forms, such as toys, hobbies, or organized sports.
Young animals play differently than children obviously, but the end result is the same in that skills are gained for the rest of that individual’s life. By experimenting with their physical and intellectual abilities, play allows for development in the child as a whole. Freedom is an integral part of play, and the Vale of Glamorgan Council classifies play as:
- Freely chosen.
- Personally directed.
- Intrinsically motivated.
Anyone of any age can play, and play for older ages gives stress relief, relaxation, and can even give therapeutic benefits. While an inexhaustible list of reasons exist for the support of play, these causes are secondary to the true focus of play, which is pleasure. Without pleasure there would not be any of the aforementioned benefits. This pleasure can be found in practically anything, whether it be an activity that is interpersonal or intrapersonal. It leaves a satisfaction that comes with interaction with others or one’s self (such as imagination).
To me, it is what I want to do for the sake of enjoyment, plain and simple. It’s importance to me is that I believe that an occupation should be for enjoyment, similar to what was stated by Karl Marx. Play at a young age may be for the development of children, but play is definitely not exclusive for them.
In the end, play is the act of engaging in a physical or intellectual activity that gives a sense of pleasure or satisfaction.
- Garvey, Katherine. Play: Enlarged Edition. Harvard University Press, Nov. 1, 1990.
- Cohen, David. The Development of Play, Second Edition. Routelage, Dec. 2, 1993.