Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Meenakshi Dahal Representative Nepal

This short article explores the situation after applying play to children in Nepal affected by the earthquake. This story is equally relevant to the current COVID 19 situation, where the children are facing solitude problem due to lockdown and closure of schools. It is an established fact play is one of the best activities for the children. It does not only offer fun but it also supports them self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization, and self-efficacy. Play relieves feeling of stress and boredoms, connects people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates emotion and boosts ego.

In addition, play allows to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Play also supports learning and development of the children. Children seek comfort and safety from adults around them at times of crisis. And we often feel helpless in this role. Indeed, most traumatic experiences challenge the most mature and experience adults.

The interventions of Nepal provided social and emotional experience necessary for healing the traumatized children. After interventions children were able to express what was troubling them. Earlier, they did not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings. Also, these children learned adaptive behaviors when there were emotional or social skills deficits. It was found that play contributed to socio-emotional development by facilitating affective growth marked by practice in understanding, expressing and controlling emotional expression and sharing emotionally meaningful experiences with playmates. 

Children were provided with some materials to play and let them express their experiences while playing. When plays applied as a therapy, toys became child’s words and play became their language. Using Socio-Emotional Assessment Measure (SEAM) the change in children behavior were measured. Children started showing adaptive behavior and positive relationship between adults and children. They demonstrate emotional and social skills with others. Children were able to engage in free play, which supported a healthy and natural outlet for resolving their conflict and relieving stress. In addition, children in the course of their imaginative play often find solutions as they play out various alternatives; they spontaneously engage in creative problem solving.

By Dr. Meenakshi Dahal

The writer is an educationalist and columnist from Nepal

One thought on “The Power of Play – The Story from Nepal”
  1. Dear Meenakshi Madam
    It’s an interesting article which I wish to read in its complete form.
    Therefore, I request you to send me the full article or the link, if possible.

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