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What is play? Why is it important?

There is more to playing than fun and games. Play is actually a powerful, brain-building activity that supports all areas of your child’s development, including language, math, motor, and social skills.

Kids wearing red hats running on grass

Chances are there’s more to your child’s playtime than you may realize. When your child plays, she is exploring the world around her and learning how to connect and interact with it. And just like learning to talk or walk, play has its own developmental stages. Children need play to develop important skills and engage with the world around them.

Playing is a brain-building activity. It causes neurons in your child’s brain to build connections, impacting all areas of development: language, motor, and social skills. So, while your baby is playing peek-a-boo with you, she is learning to say “boo!” and use her hands to cover her face or eyes. Play is a fun, happy activity for children – either with others or on their own – and guaranteed fun learning.

When we tell a child, “Go play,” we’re really telling them to go learn – and grow!

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
O. Fred Donaldson

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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