Play can be defined as an activity that is self-chosen, motivated by means rather than ends, has mental rules, and includes a strong aspect of imagination. Everyone has experienced and observed play: play with friends, organized sports, board games, and watching children on the playground. Few people are familiar with how play is related to early human development and what happens as an infant grows to use mental symbols. When a child picks up a plastic stacking cup and puts it to his or her lips to pretend to drink a little milk, the stacking cup is a symbol for a real cup. Likewise, when a child pretends a banana is a telephone (old technology) or a domino is a smartphone (new technology), that object ...

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