The Benefits of Play to Learning and Development for Lower Primary School Pupils

Stephen Mabagala


Many educators believe that children learn through play. As early as infancy, children immerse themselves in playful activities with the purpose of making sense of the world around them. However, their efforts to achieve this are most frequently halted by parents, care givers and teachers who work around them. There have been questions surrounding the importance of play for children in Tanzania. The major question has been what do children learn when they play? Lack of knowledge on the importance of play for children has led parents, care givers and pre-school teachers to deny children their right to play and focus more on reading and arithmetic than involving them in playful activities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role and benefits of play for the learning and development of lower primary school pupils. This study is important as it may increase parents’, teachers’, the community’s and other stakeholders’ knowledge of the potential contribution of play to learning and development. This paper is based on a review of literature, and presents different play activities and their benefits for lower primary school pupil. It discusses the importance of play for the cognitive, social and psychomotor development of children. It concludes that play is important for children’s holistic development. Therefore, parents, the community, primary schools and society as a whole should create a conducive and safe environment for children to play in, which will help to develop their full potential.


Key words:Role, benefits, play, development, lower primary school pupils

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