Theory of Mind
How does play take children so rapidly up the learning ladder? The short answer is that the first step on the learning ladder is the self-regulation skill-set. (Synonyms for self-regulation include EQ, self-control and executive function.) When children play it is the self-regulation skill-set that gets the biggest workout and grows fastest.
Together these self-regulation skills create the abilities a child needs to learn at school – shared problem-solving skills, abstract thought and the ability to connect ideas – but not just that! Longitudinal large scale research tells us that self-regulation is the key skill-set for life success. Research also tells us that when adults become involved in children’s play they can even more rapidly acquire the self-regulation skill-set described below.