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INTRODUCTION

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is
someone today Stacia Tauscher.

All children need to play irrespective of age, culture, and social


background, economic circumstances. Parents must know the play needs of
their children to maintain sound mental and physical health.

From the birth, till he attains the age of three, the child is seen playing
games that involve emotional, perceptive and biological motions. He is
interested in playing with gaily colored objects which he throws around,
breaks them and puts them in his mouth. The very small infant is capable
only of throwing his arms and feet about. The infant in his age group also
play with colored chart, paint and brushes etc. They take keen interest in
listening to stories and studying pictures in books. Playing with dolls making
sand edifices is an equally engaging occupation for them 1.

Babies and toddlers need a safe, healthy environment and warm,


responsive adults to stimulate their growth and development. It is nature
and nurture working together that enhances physical, social, emotional,
cognitive, cultural and creative growth in children 2.

Plays are also utilized to get rid of many mental problems and
character difficulties of children. The reason behind this is therapeutic power
of play. The emotions that the child is unable to express due to the necessity
of social life and general conformity and is forced to repress, cause many
abnormalities in his personality and behavior 3.

An understanding of the benefits of play can help parents and teachers


allow for maximum potential in enhancing children development. Play is an
essential human function. From the first playful face-to-face interactions
with a newborn infant to the last breath of an elderly person, play and
playfulness illustrate humanness. "Man only plays when he is in the fullest
sense of the word a human being; and he is only fully a human being when
he plays". Play is universal. It is how we learn to handle the world and our
social roles in it. Many researchers have affirmed the importance of play in
growth and development. "Play as a process lies at the very core of human
behavior and development". He continued tracing the significance of play by
linking it to the biological forces that impel, direct, and delimit action and
growth. Play is by no means a trivial and simple set of behaviors. "It is a
complex, multidimensional sequence of behaviors that changes considerably

in process and morphology, particularly during infancy and the early


childhood years" 4.

Children need only stimulation, play and adequate space to develop


their motor abilities. Although it is important to the children to have
opportunity to explore, it is also important that some limitations be placed
on play, both for the sake of safety and for the establishment of necessary
routines. They need to have some limits set to feel secure enough to trust
their own creativity 1.
Play is a universal language of children. It is one of the most
important forms of communication and can be an effective technique in
relating to them. Play empowers children, supports their right to make
choices to discover their own solutions and to develop at their own pace 5.

6.1. NEED FOR THE STUDY


Play is a very important part of development for the growing child.
Not only is play time entertaining for the child, but it also provides
stimulation, increases skills and coordination, provides an outlet for child's
energy, and helps to encourage exploration by the child 6.

Mothers are childs first and best play mates. Not only do mothers
have an important role in choosing good toys, but research shows that the
most creative children are those who have had mothers involved in their
play. The mothers role in play is as a responder and facilitator, not a director
which many of parents are unaware. The parents should know about various
forms of social behavior in play, sex role behavior in play and must have the
abilities, experiences and interests in selection and care of play things 7.

A study shows that children express their problems symbolically in


their play. The analysis of these symbols of abnormalities can help in their
cure of mental problems and character difficulties in children. It is for this
reason that researcher has supported the cure of mental disorders through the
medium of play 8.
Some parents even today regard childrens play as a waste of time and
feel that their time could be better spent in learning something useful that
will prepare them for adult life. Some may insist their children always be
learning something or trying something new which makes play a stressful
rather than a rewarding experience for the children. These parents fail to
make their children to interact with others or other children.

As the children continue to grow they also develop the capacity of


continuous concentrations and attentions. The retention and widening of
attention is open to many influences. A child of two can attend to any game
from one to seven and a half minutes, a child of three from one to twelve
minutes 9.

An important part of play for young children is play with mothers and
there should be sometime for this every day. A toy company some years ago
asked a large number of young children and their survey found that many
children wanted more time with their parents 10.

Play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated


behavior that actively engages the child. Play can be fun or serious. Through
play children explore social, material and imaginary worlds and their
relationship with them, elaborating all the while flexible range of responses
to the challenges they encounter 11.

A study on Getting Serious About play-A Review of childrens play


was released in U.K. This shows the importance of childrens play in their

lives; also helps to recognize the importance of understanding the diversity,


complexities and richness of childrens play 12.

The main focus of 17th IPA World Conference 2008 was on what play
is: alarming trends affecting childhood. IPA is deeply concerned by a
number of alarming trends and their negative impact on children's
development such as societys indifference to the importance of play,
overemphasis on theoretical and academic studies in schools, increasing
numbers of children living with inadequate provisions for survival and
development. Hence following proposals are listed such as play is essential
for the physical and mental development of child, play is a part of education,
play is an essential part of family and community life, child needs
opportunities to play at leisure, the needs of the child must have priority in
the planning of human settlements 13.

6.2.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1. To assess the knowledge of rural mothers regarding the importance of


play in growth and development of their children.

2. To assess the knowledge of urban mothers regarding the importance of


play in growth and development of their children.
3. To compare the knowledge of rural and urban mothers of under-five
children regarding importance of play in growth and development.
4. To find out the association of knowledge of mothers towards the play
needs of their children with selected demographic variables.

6.3.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H1- There will be a significant difference among the knowledge of Rural


and Urban mothers of under-five children.
H2- There will be significant association between the selected demographic
variables and knowledge of mothers regarding importance of play in growth
and development of children.
6.4.

VARIABLES UNDER STUDY

Research Variables: Knowledge of mothers regarding importance of play in


growth and development

Demographic

Variables:

socioeconomic status.

age,

education,

location,

occupation,

6.5.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS

Knowledge: in the study it refers to the information possessed by mothers of


under-five children regarding importance of play in the growth and
development of children and as assessed by structured knowledge
questionnaires.

Mothers: in the study it refers to the mothers of the under-five children in


the rural areas.
Assess: in the study it refers to Statistical measurement of correct response
to the knowledge items listed in the tool.

6.6.

ASSUMPTIONS

1. The mothers of rural area may have some knowledge about the role of
play in growth and development of children.
2. The mothers of urban area may have some knowledge about the role of
play in growth and development of children.
3. The play helps in the better growth and development of children

6.7.

DELIMITATION

1. The study is delimited to those mothers whose children are between the
ages of 0-5 years.
2. The study is related only to the knowledge of mothers regarding play
activities of children.
3. The study is delimited to the mothers available at the time of study.
4. The study is delimited to the areas under the study.