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Importance of Play

Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. Play is essential to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.

Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics 2007, Volume 19, Issue 1

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Benefits of Play

As they master their world, play helps children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges.

Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics 2007, Volume 19, Issue 1