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correlation between the quality of pretend play and their ability to self-regulate their emotions (Slot et al., 2017). Self-regulation and metacommunicative are functions related to executive functioning, and thus evidence presented suggests the role of play towards concept formation. Metacommunication theory highlights the existence of frames in children’s play, where children learn to develop understanding of in frame and out frame communication (Whitebread & O’Sullivan, 2012). The theory is unique in a way it highlights non-verbal communication and intentions of play in children. Bateson’s theory shed light onto metalinguistic abilities observed in children and how non-verbal indicators can be linked to symbols such as objects. Hence allowing for the understanding of language development at a metalinguistic level in children. Furthermore, metacommunication theory has allowed for research with pretend play in children with Austim (Stirling & Douglas, 2012). While the theory has led to research into metalinguistic abilities and executive functioning, methodological implications should also be considered. Carlson, White and Davis’s (2014) research consisted of children whose parents belonged from the educated metropolitan demographic. Thus, findings cannot be generalised to children from low socio-economic backgrounds with limited resources for education. Furthermore, participants belonged to Caucasian families, hence limiting findings to only one cultural and geographical group. Furthermore, measures for verbal ability and memory are different for each research experiment, hence comparisons cannot be made within them. In conclusion, modern theories of play imply play to be goal directed and enjoyable for the child. At the same time, they suggest play to have a role in child development. Play may be a result of exploration or arousal modulation or assimilation, but eventually all theories support the idea that children’s play can significantly influence cognitive, emotional and language development of children.

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