Friday, June 19, 2009

Childhood play critical to normal development



A play-deprived childhood disrupts normal social, emotional and cognitive development in humans and animals. “Free play,” as scientists call it, is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress and building cognitive skills such as problem solving. Research into animal behavior confirms play’s benefits and establishes its evolutionary importance: ultimately, play may provide animals (including humans) with skills that will help them survive and reproduce.

That finding is based on three key concepts:
1) Childhood play is crucial for social, emotional and cognitive ­development.
2) Imaginative and rambunctious “free play,” as opposed to games or structured activities, is the most essential type.
3) Kids and animals that do not play when they are young may grow into anxious, socially maladjusted adults.

More on the Serious Need for Play.

Recent Peaceful Playgrounds Featured Articles on the topic of play.

Why Play?

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