The rules of play – developing self-control

two children doing dramatic play in the home corner

“Mothers and fathers go to work and make the dinner, but not babies. Babies cry, while grown-ups take responsibility for caring for and calming the babies. Even fantasy characters behave according to some rules,” writes Nancy Stewart, experienced teacher, consultant, trainer and author.

“While to a casual observer it may seem that children involved in pretend play are acting totally spontaneously in ‘free play’, in fact they are imposing their own set of rules... Children who show self-restraint in following the shifting rules of the play gain the great pleasure of belonging, as they develop cooperative play with others.” Read this excerpt from Nancy's book How Children Learn – The characteristics of effective early learning.

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