Playing, having fun and enjoying playful and recreational activities is a fundamental right of boys and girls. This was recognized in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It stated that
"The child must fully enjoy games and recreation, oriented towards the aims pursued by education."
Society and public authorities were also responsible for promoting and defending it. Thirty years later, the right to play was established in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
"The right of the child to rest and leisure, to play and recreational activities appropriate to their age and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts."
The game is a guarantee of physical and emotional health for the little ones , hence its importance. In addition, it is essential for its proper development, so it is much more than something positive and recommended: it is a necessity. Recreation, carefree, fun ... must be present in a childhood to be happy and full.
Benefits of games for learning
The emotional, psychological, physical and motor, cognitive and social planes are reflected in the game. In addition, it is a useful tool in the classroom, because children are more likely to acquire knowledge if they do it while playing. Further:
They develop their creativity.
They learn to relate to others.
They know the environment and interact with it.
They explore reality and imagine it.
They learn to respect rules.
They give vent to their curiosity.
They gain self-confidence.
They improve their command of language.
They learn to organize and make decisions.
It is also an instrument that serves to transmit culture and traditions , as well as to strengthen intra-family ties . Encouraging family play is very positive for intergenerational relationships and also for affectivity.
Play is closely linked to the way of learning in the early years: children will insist on doing something until they succeed. As adults we must respect their times and interests, encourage their curiosity and provide what they need to develop the game.
For all these reasons, at CEU San Pablo Montepríncipe School we have it very much in mind. The 3 to 5-year-old classrooms are very special places, full of educational toys and material adapted to their age, to awaken their senses and make their hours at school fun encounters. At these ages, learning is always considered as a game, in which creativity and spontaneity take on special importance.
But, throughout the different school stages it will continue to be very present. Playing is something that people continue to do as we grow up, although the recreational proposals and interests change. In ESO and Baccalaureate, for example, gamification or gamification plays an important role in all subjects. The objective is for students to be motivated, participate and be the protagonist of their learning; something very similar to how playing is proposed in the early years to bring them closer to reading or writing.