Play provides active exploration that assists in building and strengthening brain pathways.
Play creates a brain that has increased ‘flexibility and improved potential for learning later in life’ (Lester & Russell, 2008).
Young children’s play allows them to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning.
Children who engage in quality play experiences are more likely to have well-developed memory skills, language development, and are able to regulate their behavior, leading to enhanced school adjustment and academic learning (Bodrova & Leong, 2005).
Play is linked to the development of resilience and the beginnings of empathy as children begin to understand other points of view through dramatic play (dress-up, role-play).
Physically active play allows children to test and develop all types of motor skills. It promotes significant health and well being benefits.
Children can build relationships, learn to resolve conflicts, negotiate and regulate their behaviors.
Playing is a known stress release; it is often linked to child well being.
Children usually have increased feelings of success and optimism as they act as their own agents and make their own choices.
Dispositions for learning, such as curiosity, openness, optimism, resilience, concentration, and creativity (SACSA, 2009), are developed in play.
*CREDIT: This list was adapted from an article written by Lennie Barblett, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education & the Arts, Edith Cowan University.