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Play = LearningHow Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth$
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Dorothy G. Singer, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304381.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2020

Make-Believe Play: Wellspring for Development of Self-Regulation

Make-Believe Play: Wellspring for Development of Self-Regulation

(p.74) 5 Make-Believe Play: Wellspring for Development of Self-Regulation
Play = Learning




Oxford University Press

The early childhood years are a crucial time for the development of self-regulation — an array of complex mental capacities that includes impulse and emotion control, self-guidance of thought and behavior, planning, self-reliance, and socially responsible behavior. Self-regulation is also essential for children to meet the academic and social requirements of school. The human need for complex, flexible regulatory systems that can cope with a wide array of environmental conditions means that the development of self- regulation begins early, takes place over an extended time period, and requires substantial external support. Early childhood is also the “high season” of imaginative play, when make-believe evolves from simple imitative acts into elaborate plots involving complex coordination of roles. This chapter presents wide-ranging evidence that pretense is pivotal in children's advancing mastery over their own thinking, emotions, and behavior. The data are based on the sociocultural theory of Russian developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky, who viewed social experiences such as make-believe play as prime catalysts of development.

Keywords:   make-believe play, children, self-regulation, development, early childhood, Lev Vygotsky, pretense, emotion control

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