Playing provides the experience through which a child “constructs” himself. Often, parents run off to the shops to buy an elaborate toy to enrich their child’s life, in the belief that this will help them grow and develop.
But what is it about a game that makes it purposeful in the development of a child?
The basic principal of any game, situation or implement, is that it should be within a child’s grasp. By “within his grasp”, that means that his level of ability should be such that he can engage with it. For example, if you put a tree in the garden for a child to climb, you must ensure that it has low branches, within reach of the child. That should foster in him the skill of “trying to climb”, together with attendant success.
Bit by bit, as he becomes an accomplished climber, the options become more complex. If, however, the level of difficulty at the outset was beyond the ability of the child, then he would never have tried or if he had, the experience of failure would, if very severe, have dissuaded him from any further attempts.