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Why is play important?

Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and taking part in play which is guided by adults.

•             Children learn though first-hand experience, in activities they have chosen.

•             Play can involve a child playing alone, alongside another child or cooperatively with another child, group of children or an adult.

  • Children and adults can learn from their mistakes.
  • Play and exploration promotes brain development.
  • Play fosters imagination and flexibility of mind.
  • Confidence and competences are developed through play.
  • Play gives opportunities to explore their fears and anxieties.
  • During play children’s concepts, skills attitudes and achievements are extended.


Play offers opportunities for:


  •        Making choices and decisions
  •        Using one’s own ideas and imagination
  •        Experimenting
  •        Trying own new behaviours and practising old ones
  •        Exercising, developing and coordinating body and brain
  •        Adapting knowledge, skills and attitude
  •        Negotiating
  •        Following an interest or line of enquiry
  •        Making mistakes
  •        Trying to copy someone else
  •        Making sense of puzzling situations, events or equipment
  •        Becoming confident to tackle challenges
  •        Having fun with friends and/or familiar adults