Why “Play” is important in children’s development?

Why “Play” is important in children’s development?

The benefits of play are great — research provides more and more evidence of the positive effects play has on child development.

“Play promotes intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being” (Christine Carter, 2011).

Unstructured playing helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to solve conflicts, to regulate their emotions and behavior, and to speak-up for themselves as well as master early literacy concepts, self-regulation and develop mathematical abilities.

It is essential in developing key cognitive functions such as working memory, self-regulation (e.g., being aware of and controlling her feelings and actions), internal language or “self-talk,”.

“Kids who go to play-based preschools versus academic preschools, actually do much better academically down the line” Madeline Levine.

In today’s demanding life,  it has come to my attention how families are changing free playing time into structured and guided activities, and schools are giving less recess in order to have more academic time.  We are giving less meaningful activities to our students and also promoting less opportunities to interact with their peers as well as organizing their own time to play with others and within the family.  


Play not only belongs to early years, but also to older children and even adolescents. However, those children who do not learn how to interact and use their free time from early years are in disadvantage: this is an ability and skill, and as everything in life, it also needs practise.


Play should be preserved as a unique and non-negotiable time in schools and among families, considered as the most beneficial context for children’s healthy development. We encourage teachers and families to consider play time as learning opportunities for our children. Families: take advantage of Summer Time, and give your child unstructured opportunities to play and also share together.


We will be sharing new ways to promote playing as well as the skills you can enhance in your child’s development.


Annabella Pavan

ProEdu Consulting