Play, Health, and Well-Being

MODULE 3: Learning Objectives

Play, Health, and Well-Being

Duration: 2 Weeks

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

· Describe what play is and why it is important for children’s health and well-being;

· Identify various ways that play connects to and supports children’s health and well-being;

· Offer suggested strategies to support play in early childhood settings.


Play, Health, and Well-Being

girl in pink dress sitting on brown sand during daytime


Play is an essential part of childhood and critical to children’s holistic development, health, and well-being (Hewes, n.d.; Province of British Columbia, 2019a, 2019b). As an early childhood educator, it is important to recognize that play is vital for young children and should have a central role in their lives “from infancy into middle childhood and beyond” (Province of British Columbia, 2019b, p. 5). Within the province of British Columbia, the importance of play is reflected within the vision for early learning and embedded within the Early Learning Framework principles (Province of BC, 2019a).

Early Learning Framework Principles

· Children are strong, capable in their uniqueness, and full of potential.

· Educators are researchers and collaborators.

· Early years spaces are inclusive.

· People build connection and reconnection to land, culture, community and place.

· Environments are integral to well-being and learning.

· Play is integral to well-being and learning.

· Relationships are the context for well-being and learning.

· Learning is holistic.

— Province of BC, 2019a


More broadly, play is explicitly recognized within Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (Links to an external site.) , which states that all children have the right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities. The UNCRC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989. Canada signed the UNCRC in 1990 and ratified it in 1991.

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