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Why Children Need to Play

Read great Albert Einstein’s blunt word on the subject:

“Play is the highest form of research.”


Play time means fun time. After long hours of school and homework children have the right to entertainment. Apart from just a break from hectic work routine play is important for many other reasons as well. A clinical report by American Academy of Pediatrics[1] play is important in order to provide the child with necessary physical, cognitive social and emotional grooming. According to the report play allows children to express their conscious and unconscious feelings making them emotionally intelligent as they gain more knowledge about life and things around them.


Fun time promotes healthy brain development as it strengthens the neural connections that might weaken if left unused therefore play is crucial to the neurological development of child. According to United Nations High Commission for Human Rights play is one of the fundamental rights of a child because of its role in their optimal development. Entertainment helps child refresh himself for school activities and play time at school helps child to adjust in school. When children are allowed to play freely they focus more and their attention span increases which is a useful academic skill and shall prove to be beneficial for them in future when they have to focus on content for studying. Now a day’s busy routines of family allow less time for parents to interact with their children and consequently it decreases the time given the child to play freely. Child must be allowed for recreation at frequent times. When parents enjoy with the child allowing them to decide how to play and parents just join in and do what the child wants them to do during play, it improves parent child relationship a lot[2].


According to another research unstructured play allows children to express their desires, resolve conflicts and learn team work[3]. They express the world they see around them by role playing of different people they encounter at home or school and their experience with them. Children do not observe their surroundings the way grownups do so they use play to have better understanding of certain life experiences. Play also gives chance to parents to help children facing certain difficulties which might be psychological or physical including speech disorders, emotional problems, chronic illness or disabilities by playing with them in a specific way using selected toys suggested by the health care professional[4].


Playing outside gives child a chance to catch sunshine with promotes vitamin D generation in body which is crucial to child’s calcium level management and healthy bone and height development and it boosts immune system which makes the child less prone to sickness3. Play makes child active and is a healthy exercise which comes with fun and joy. Playing with friends and other children allows chance to socialize which helps children learn how to treat other people and cooperate for shared goals[5].

[1] Gilmore, H. (2019, january 30). Why Kids Need to Play. Retrieved August 9, 2019, from Psych Central Professional: https://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2014/08/why-kids-need-to-play

[2] Huizinga, J. (1955). Homo ludens; a study of the play-element in culture. Boston: Beacon Press

[3] Gluth, M. T. (2013, December 04). Retrieved August 27, 2019, from researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307722793_Unstructured_Play_and_Creative_Development_in_the_Classroom

[4] Jenkinson, Sally (2001). The Genius of Play. Hawthorn Press

[5] Claire McCarthy, M. (2018, May 22). 6 reasons children need to play outside. Retrieved August 9, 2019, from Harvard Health Blog: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/6-reasons-children-need-to-play-outside-2018052213880


This blog is written by our Intern Sehar Waheed - She is currently a student of Psychology and loves writing.

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