When children play, they're not just having fun. Play is in fact critical to their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Why is play so important? Simply swinging high in the air, blowing bubbles, drawing pictures, singing silly songs...These activities let children use and develop all of their senses. They learn important skills, develop balance and coordination, strengthen their muscles, and are healthier and happier!
Read more about how to plan a playspace that encourages the healthy development of every child.
Ginsburg, K.R. (2007). Clinical report: The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.cnaturenet.org/uploads/playFINAL_1.pdf
KidsHealth (2006). Raising a fit playschooler. http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/fitness/general/fit_preschooler.html
MacPherson, K. (2002). Development experts say children suffer due to lack of unstructured fun. Part 1 of series. Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/lifestyle/20021001childsplay1001fnp3.asp
MacPherson, K. (2002). Creative play makes better problem-solvers. Part 2 of series. Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/lifestyle/20021002childsplay3.asp
MacPherson, K. (2002). Experts call unstructured play essential to children’s growth. Part 3 of series. Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/lifestyle/20021003childsplay3.asp
Montgomery Childcare Association. (February 2004). MCCA Focus: Shifting the argument for play. http://www.mccaedu.org/pdf/play-flyer.pdf
National Playing Fields Association. (2000). Best Play: What play provision should do for children. http://www.ncb.org.uk/dotpdf/open%20access%20-%20phase%201%20only/bestplay_cpc_20040115.pdf