Right to Play

Kids Need to Play…..Everyday!


Did you know….

  • Play helps children do well at school
  • Play teaches children to solve problems
  • Play develops creativity and imagination
  • Play is key to healthy physical development
  • Play helps children develop friendships
  • Play reduces stress and anxiety
  • Play encourages independence
  • Play is unstructured and child-directed
  • Play in outdoor spaces is healthy and fun

What parents can do to support play

Things to do outdoors

Be ready for rainy days with waterproof jackets (with hoods) and waterproof boots

Have a collection of child-size shovels and pails to use in sandboxes, at the beach or in the garden

Take your child to the local park. Walk along the trails, touch the trees, look for different local plants, play hide and seek, talk about what you see and do.

Go to the beach and look for driftwood, interesting stones, and seaweed. Climb on the logs, walk along them, jump off.

Find a playground where other children frequently play. Sit on a bench and let your child set off to explore, connect, run, climb and dig.

Find a shallow running stream in your community. Collect small sticks and watch them float downstream. See what kinds of plants, birds and animals are in the area. Take a seat, and see what your child does on her own.

Things to do indoors

Make a collection of cardboard boxes of various sizes, and let your child invent trains, houses, trucks, barns and cities

Let your child play in the sink, adding bubbles, measuring cups, and an egg beater. A plastic apron is a good idea.

Turn old socks into puppets by adding eyes, nose and mouth with a felt pen.

Unplug and play every day….put away all electronics, and read together, play cards, share a happy memory.


Links to research about the importance of play in the lives of children

The Trouble with 21st Century Kids

The National Institute for Play

Let the Children Play: Nature’s Answer to Early Learning

Your Child Plays, Explores, Learns 

Alliance for Childhood 

Tech Tonic- Towards a New Literacy of Technology 

Lost Adventures of Childhood

Play Again