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Play: A Child's Work

Young children learn from play. They learn everything they need to know to function in the world. Their play is quite purposeful. It is not as random as it may seem to appear.

Play is:

  • critical to all aspects of a child's development
  • often overlooked by parents as a valuable tool
  • a preventive measure to discipline problems
  • offers a natural way for a child to learn
  • essential in forming a positive relationship between parent and child

Even when children misbehave they are probably trying to learn something.
As parents, we look upon children's activities as just play and often overlook its real importance.

Here is list of play's value:

  • Outlet for energy
  • Exploration
  • Rehearses real life situations
  • Works out strong feelings
  • Strengthens family bonds, when parents and children play together
  • Develops concentration and coordination
  • Teaches all kinds of skills
  • Teaches how to solve problems
  • Teaches creativity
  • Teaches how to get along with both children and adults
  • Teaches from experience
  • Develops confidence in one's ability
  • Keeps children busy and less likely to get into trouble


Children learn everything from play. Their natural curiosity leads them to learn. It is what childhood is all about. You can add a great deal to their children's development by allowing reasonable freedom to explore, providing interesting playthings, and playing with your children frequently.



Content used with permission from the Child Welfare League of America,


For more information or to discuss parenting concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service. 

This content was last modified on: 09/08/2008

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