Influence of play on development of language skills among preschool children in Kisumu central sub-county, Kenya
Play is essential, vital, critical and fundamental to a child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Without adequate healthy play, children run the risk of entering school unprepared, growing into teens and adults without needed skills and failing to meet their potential. Play develops children’s language because it incorporates many of the socially interactive and cognitive elements known to enhance language skills. Language development occurs when children have access to wide variety of play activities and are encouraged to talk about their ideas, feelings. Specifically the study sought to find out aspects of play that contributed towards the development of language skills in Kisumu Central Sub County. In this regard, the study under objectives one to four examined types of play, availability of play materials, role of the teacher during play and school policy on play as elements of play that influenced language skill development. The study reviewed relevant literature to establish research gaps and determine the current underlying play factors and performance levels of pre-school children concerning language skills. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires, interview guides and observation checklist. The study adopted purposive sampling procedure in selection of the study sample. A study sample of 143 respondents was used. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics to determine means, frequencies and percentages then presented inform of tables for interpretation. The findings of the study revealed that learners who were exposed to different types of play like manipulative, creative, dramatic and physical plays with play materials achieved higher scores because the children acquired listening, speaking, reading and writing skills during interaction with teachers who played active roles to instruct and direct play than those who were not exposed to any form of plays.