"Humans have been playing since they existed. And with that, playing is basically the origin of human action. Human thinking too. Human advancement. Man develops by playing. "- Dr. Karin Falkenberg, folklorist and director of the Nuremberg Toy Museum.
The statement from Dr. Karin Falkenberg has truth in it. Playtime has greatly affected the way we are as a person today. Regardless of the toys or games we play (lego toys or videogames such as ROK or LOL), it has a great impact on our behavior or in what we do at present.
Play and Human Development - Types of Play
Actually, our culture is only conceivable on the basis of the play. That quasi-playful activity, even if they are not always explicitly titled as games, are the main innovation engine for social change, for the creation of culture.
Society influences toys. So these ideas, which are in a society, about what is normal, clearly flow into the production of toys. It is not for nothing that there are so few toys that take up different dimensions. ”- Prof. Dr. Wiebke Waburg, educational scientist, University of Augsburg.
She and her team, which includes Volker Mehringer, examine toys and play behavior from an educational and sociological point of view. An important social issue, because in preschool children alone spend up to 15,000 hours playing games.
Within this time or within this age range, children also go through the greatest development steps. At every level. Be it social development, be it motor development, intelligence, and cognitive development.
Learn empathy through role-playing
Role-playing games are extremely popular with children in this age group. They recreate situations that they know from their everyday life in a family. It is a particular pleasure for them to break out of their usual child situation and to take on the adult perspective from the game.
“The desire to slip into the role of parent, this other position of power, to stand up in the hierarchy and to be able to determine there. Or to be a cowboy and Indian or to play a cop. These are very, very important key competencies for social action. Empathy, change of roles, understanding of roles, social negotiation. It is incredibly complex. You can’t believe that in some game situations, what depth there is often in there. ”
Parents play more with them today
How children deal with certain toys, how they behave in play situations, how their interactive communication with other children or adults takes place, provides the Augsburg scientists with important information. To do this, they go regularly to kindergartens or the family area and receive important information from observations, test series and questionnaires. A clear trend in their analyzes: If earlier generations of parents often left their children to play, mothers and fathers now play more with their offspring.
It is important: “That you give impulses, that you encourage children to play certain activities, that you play along yourself, what can totally shape parent-child interaction and what has been confirmed several times by research, very much the bond between parent and child can promote. But what can also have the dark side that a child can get used to it. And I think you can also moderate that a bit. How much time would I like to play with my child, how much does my child need? There are very big individual differences between the children, that I realize that it totally helps him now and that brings us closer when I play with the child and then there can be phases in which I do something more intensely