The Importance of Play In Children’s Learning. Play is the language of children and is crucial to their development. Childrenof guiding a child through learning experiences by using language to help create the thought concepts needed to meet challenges. Mediated learning experiences provide a range of resources a child might use to solve problem without explicitly telling them how to solve the problem. If one simply gives the solution to a child, an opportunity to develop higher level thinking skills is lost. By allowing the child to make associations between previous experiences and the resources around them, they learn important developmental skills. Words and language are ‘resources’ that can be used to surround events in a child’s experience.
Long before the advent of the positive movement in psychology, researchers were interested in what makes people happy. The concept of health is more than the mere absence of illness: it contains mental and social well-being. Debates around the importance of genetic disposition, material possessions, social relationships, family support have surrounded the concept of happiness. More recently concepts such as well-being, resilience, engagement and flow have been added to the mix. We could ask, why the flurry of interest in happiness? Classic philosophers like Nietzsche, Kant and Schopenhauer were preoccupied with the meaning of life, the angst that went with the human struggle to exist, and today we are all looking for an illusive perpetual state of happiness.
In keeping with the concept of resilience as the capacity to bounce back from stressful experiences, three studies using college students (Tugade and Fredrickson, 2004) provide empirical evidence for this theory.
They demonstrate the use of positive emotions to rebound from stress and to find positive meaning in stressful encounters. In the adult literature it has been demonstrated that positive emotions help to buffer against stress and that the use of positive reappraisal, problem-focused coping and the infusion of events with positive meaning are related to the occurrence and maintenance of positive affect (Folkman and Moskowitz, 2000); this predicts increases in psychological health and well-being (Affleck and Tennen, 1996).