“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.”
Spontaneous independent play is critical for a child’s personal, social and academic development. Child-directed, created, and imagination-fueled, play is how humans practice life. It builds brain functions, social skills, and emotional regulation, and lays a foundation for academic skills acquisition. As children participate in dramatic play, they observe and experiment with their surroundings and build an understanding of important underlying academic principles.
Play is joyful, beneficial, and above all, the right of every child. It is our responsibility as the adults in their world, to assure we prioritize and help facilitate opportunities for play.
(See Saving Play, resources tab, for specific research references.)