What Is Play and Why Is It Important?

What Is Play and Why Is It Important?

small girl with paint covering her clothes and body

Play is integral to children’s health, well-being, and optimal development. The benefits of play in children’s lives have been well-documented by researchers and the power of play has long been recognized by early childhood educators in practice (Hewes, n.d.).

In the following document, Dr. Jane Hewes provides a foundational understanding of the role of play in young children’s lives and addresses the questions: What is play? Why is play important? Once you have read through this article, please take some time to review the three infographics highlighting some of the many benefits of play. Finally, finish by reading Dr. Patrick Lewis’ critique of the erosion of play across four areas of childhood.

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