Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Memory and Play
As an activity that requires cognitive engagement, play has the capacity to impact memory, both the formation of individual memories and the capacity for improved memory function. Children engaged in play are more adept at memory for several reasons—one reason is that memory is an emotionally charged experience, and emotionally charged experiences are often more readily recalled. As well, because play is a fun and intrinsically motivated experience, learning experiences that involve play increase a child's motivation for learning. Play in learning experiences increase attention to the task, and attention is a critical component in using the working memory and storing information in long-term memory. Finally, because play increases executive function, specifically self-regulation, through processes such as private speech, children engaged in play become more able to focus their attention—which increases their capacity to regulate learning and memorize necessary information. Play may also be a useful strategy for helping children ...