Playing has been a human feature throught the history and since the times immemorial - humans have always played games, made fun and done leisurely activities with no other purpose than having a good time. The first board game Ur, discoverd from Iraq, dates back to 2500 bc and mancala board games, which originate from Africa, are believed to be born in neolithic times. Sport games and other outdoor fitness (in Finnish: ulkoliikunta) probably have had also more functional goals, but anyhow, humans have always played sport games and such just for fun.
In the broad sense playing can mean anything from the simple entertainment which a parent provides to a baby into a complicated and extended strategy games or sport. Nowadays games and playing are commonly connected to childhood, but some researchers think, that this is quite recent comprehension. They state that work and play started to differentiate quite late in the history, in 17th century onwards.
Playing is a natural way for a child to learn and practise for the "real world". Many childrens´games are just mimicin the life of the adults, their work and way of living. The classic game is playing home, where everyone is casted to be a member of a family and the normal everyday life fills the cubby house. When children grow, their games evolve to be more complex with sophisticated rules and also larger spaces. The sandbox on the yard or one´s own room isn´t enough, the playground area, football ground and amusment park are the next scale.
Adults and especially parents shouldn´t forget to play since playing, according to researches, extends the life expectancy and increases the quality of life. Playing also improves health and provides a quality time with the children.
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