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Learning is a key function in life. At sometime in our lives we have to acquire the skills to become a part of our society. For example, learning hand-eye coordination, understanding cause and effect, participating in society, and dealing with internal as well as external conflicts are skills necessary for positive adaptation. What is often misunderstood, is that many of these vital skills are acquired through childhood play.
Although we play throughout our lifetime, in early childhood we play more for the fun of playing. Most children from 2 to 6 years of age do not care about who wins, the final score, or even the rules for the game. As a parent or care giver, understanding the simplicity of early childhood and the joy factors are necessary for the health and well being of your child.
In this section, I will discuss some key areas of play and address how each enhances child development. I will give examples and descriptions of fun "age appropriate" games and activities. I have also included some fun recipes and food ideas for you and your child. Finally, I will point out some of the play-related challenges faced by a child due to their race or gender, their ascribed status, and some ways to help overcome these obstacles.