“Play” is sometimes contrasted with “work” and characterised as a type of activity which is essentially unimportant, trivial and lacking in any serious purpose. As such, it is seen as
something that children do because they are immature, and as something they will grow out of as they become adults. However, as this report is intended to demonstrate, this view is
mistaken. Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species, alongside language, culture and technology. Indeed, without play, none of these other
achievements would be possible. The value of play is increasingly recognised, by researchers and within the policy arena, for adults as well as children, as the evidence mounts of its relationship with intellectual achievement and emotional well-being. — Excerpt from a recent report by Dr. David Whitebread, University of Cambridge.
The report has been researched and written by Dr David Whitebread, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge, UK, together with two of his PhD students, Martina Kuvalja and Mohini Verma, and a post-doctoral researcher, Marisol Basilio. The latter are each conducting research into aspects of young children’s play and learning. Dr Whitebread is an expert in the cognitive development of young children and in early childhood education. He has published extensively in relation to children’s learning and development, and the role of play in these processes. His most recent publication is Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education (Sage, 2012).
Though the report was written for the toy industry, it contains a lot of valuable information about the importance of play in the development of children.
Read the full report here, and don’t forget that alongside piano lessons and tutoring – KIDS NEED TIME TO PLAY!