Play and development

In concise form, ideas about “free play” and the child’s “own activity” ripen on the basis of Frøbel’s play theory (1782-1852).

Frøbel invents and refers to a number of play forms which are only used in kindergartens in order to stimulate the children’s feelings for freedom, unit, fellowship and community.

The majority of theories about play accept the basic concept that play can stimulate children’s development in several ways although many theories express some doubt as to the value of adult participation or direct involvement in children’s play. The basic argument is that adult intervention inhibits children’s spontaneous play and development.



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