The Importance of Play

Photo credit: outsideplay.ca

The science of brain development is providing concrete evidence that there is real power in play. Children use play as a way to learn about and interact with their world, and gain the mental, physical and social skills needed as they journey through life.

Play gives children the opportunity to explore and learn, develop new skills, and connect with others. Through self-directed play (indoor and outdoor), children can follow their interests, explore the unknown, link outcomes with choices, conquer their fears, and make friends.

Resources

Play Today Handbook
This handbook recommends a play-based approach in the early years, with examples of how play experiences may be used to guide and shpe children’s learning. It provides information and support for the integration of learning through play into various settings.

Outside Play
An online tool to help parents and caregivers gain the confidence to allow their kids to engage in more outdoor play.

Nature Playbook
Connecting a new generation with nature is a complex challenge, so where do we start? Next steps can be found here in this guide, itself the result of considerable work and years of research. Now that we have the knowledge, it’s time to bring in more players, and you are Canada’s starting line-up.

The Power of Play
This CBC documentary  takes viewers around the world to meet the people who are turning play science into one of the most promising areas of research today. One scholar highlighted is Stuart Brown, a California psychiatrist known as the ‘grandfather’ of play research. Brown recognized play was essential to human nature as far back as 1966, finding that playing freely as a child is key to being mentally healthy as an adult.