Influence of play on the developement of preschool children's social skills in Kabete Zone, Kenya
Mahindu, Jane W
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of play on pre school children's social skills in Kabete zone. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The study employed descriptive survey design which is used in preliminary and exploratory studies to allow researchers to gather information, summarize, present and interpret for the purpose of clarification. The population included all the 93 teachers in the zone. The sample for the study was selected using stratified random sampling technique to include both the public and private pre- schools. The study used questionnaires and observation schedules. The instruments were piloted in 3 pre-schools which were not used in the fmal study. The study revealed that availability of play materials influenced children's social skills development. The study fmdings also indicated that children were involved in physical activities such as physical play e.g. running, jumping, kicking, throwing. It also indicated majority of the teachers allocated 30 minutes for children play in the timetable. This time was however deemed inadequate for children play. Findings also revealed that most of the respondents agreed that grouping of children into age and ability assisted them acquire social skills. Most of the teachers took children out for play 5 times a week. It further revealed that there were teachers who did not take children out for outdoor activities as often as every day. Most of teachers participated in children play and that children loved to play in the presence of the teachers. It was also revealed that different types of play affected children's' social skills development Based on the findings, it was concluded that availability of the playing material influenced children's social skills development. Based on the findings, it was concluded that children were involved in physical activities such as physical play which included running, jumping, kicking, throwing, and in manipulative play tongue twister, construction which influenced their social skills development and hence children had a chance of developing social skills. The study also concluded that that there was time allocated for play on the time table. However time was not adequate for children play. It was also revealed that grouping of children into age and ability assisted them acquire social skills. The study also concluded that Most of the teachers took children out for play 5 times a week. Further conclusions made were that the presence of the teacher in the children's play affected children's social skills development. The study also concluded that different types of play affected children's' social skills development. Based on the findings it was recommended that schools should be provided with the required learning materials which include play things to enhance social skills development. It was also recommended that teachers should be encouraged to involve themselves in the children play so as to help the children acquire social skills. The study also recommended that teachers should strictly follow the recommended timetable and involve children in playas stipulated in the curriculum. Taking the limitations and delimitations of the study it was suggested that a study on the effect of availability of play materials on the development of cognitive skills should be conducted. It was also suggested that a study on the effects of teacher training on the performance of children in play should be conducted and also a study on other factors influencing social skills development among children should be conducted.