Play – The Work of Children

October 29, 2012

“Play is the most natural of childhood activities”

 Play is very important to the healthy development of children. Play is so important that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has dubbed it the right of every child. During play, children develop language, social skills, and problem solving abilities. Play also develops imagination and creativity. Children try out some of the very basic things that we take for granted that they know, such as when to give or take, sharing, how to get along with others, how to listen, to plan, and to feel out how others are receiving their ideas.

Characteristics of play:


  • Self-selected
  • Open-ended
  • Voluntary
  • Enjoyable
  • Flexible
  • Motivating
  • Individual or group
  • Fun!

Have you ever stopped to think about what skills your child is developing when playing? It is truly fascinating! Here are a couple of examples:

Dress up and pretend play:

  • Mimicking adult roles
  • Practicing math and language skills
  • Using materials in meaningful ways (ex. telephone, kitchen set)

Listen to or looking at books with others:

  • Learn to love books
  • Understand that the scribbles and pictures have meaning
  • Being able to picture themselves in the book with imagination
  • Making a connection with an adult or older child
  • Developing listening skills, learning to pay attention and concentration

Playing with your children can also be fun for adults. It helps you remember what it is like to be a kid. So kick back, have fun, and play!