PLAYING AS THE BASIC FORM OF ACTIVITY OF THE PRE-SCHOOL CHILD
Preschool education is the first stage of education and includes children from the age of 3 until they start primary school. It serves both a protective and an educational function. It provides an opportunity to play with others and learn in a safe, child-friendly environment suited to one's developmental needs.
In the past, preschool education used to focus mainly on child care and activities, whereas now more attention is paid to a comprehensive development of child's personality. It is associated with an increase in the number of different activity forms, various types of plays and games, and development of child's interests.
Preschool education is related to the term "playing" as it constitutes the basic form of activity of a child at that stage. Thanks to playing, children find out more about the surrounding world and social relations, develop their minds and the ability to act effectively, and their basic need to be active is satisfied. Furthermore, it allows them to assume positive emotional states and defuse emotional tension.
Playing is a pleasant way of spending time; it is a game or entertainment. It is a kind of human activity which occurs throughout one's life in various forms. It is a crucial factor stimulating the process of preparing the child socially for both work and responsibilities.
Playing appears at various stages of child's development and plays an important role. As an underlying form of activity of a preschool child it is natural, and as such, it engages children at various levels of intellectual development and of various personalities. It is an activity form characteristic of every child, owing to which it can, by means of reconstruction and processing in the real world, go over their experiences again and again while playing. Thanks to the above process said experiences are incorporated into long-term memory and child's mental system.
The motif behind playing is the ability to go through various situations or events that had happened before in the child's cognitive world and in his observations of adult actions and behaviours. Motivation is key to child's attempts and efforts and has a direct effect on attitude shaping. Striving to gain a more and more complete experience and assuming social roles when playing is a renewable, endless source of game-like activities of every child.
The article presents research regarding types of games and plays used by preschool teachers, games most liked by children, and benefits of participating in games.