03 August 2017

Early childhood educators know play is essential for all areas of children’s learning, development and wellbeing.

A protective factor for mental health

Play features in the Guiding Principles of KidsMatter Early Childhood. We acknowledge and advocate that ‘play is essential to optimise children’s wellbeing, development and learning’. Our website has many resourcesdiscussing how play influences wellbeing in positive ways.

Overlooked or underrated

Sometimes people overlook or underrate the value of play. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who dismisses play as not ‘proper’ learning?

Everywhere and anywhere

There are so many ways play can evolve and be experienced.

  • We can play alone, with others or alongside others.
  • Play can grow organically out of children’s interests or interactions with each other.
  • Sometimes we intentionally guide children towards play situations to practise developing skills. Play helps all areas of children’s development to progress.

When children learn and often don’t notice

The learning in one play experience is extraordinary.  

Watch children at play today and unpack the learning―multiple curriculum areas are probably covered! It could even be worth displaying the results to show others.

Important to the KidsMatter Early Childhood community

Here are some responses when we asked the KidsMatter Facebook community to finish this sentence:

Play is when children …

Explore, question, learn and interact which leads to learning about life. Play is about living!―Nyssa

Discover and explore their world, make friends, push the limits, grow, learn and teach adults―Debbie

Investigate, inquire and discover new possibilities ―PaLo

Sort through what goes on around them ―Sharon

Have freedom ―Angel

Connect, consolidate and create the magic of life ―Kat

There were many more great responses!

Janelle our ACT Facilitator loved everyone’s comments …

‘Impressive list of words! We can all use them as we continue to advocate for children's right, and need, to play!’

Needing you to keep showing how important it is

Play is … essential (and fun) in everyone’s life.

Use the Shared Thinking comments section to share what you say to others about the benefits of play.

Thanks for your commitment to advocating for play.


A pdf version of this post is available for download