Play is what children and young people do in their own time for their own reasons. For children, play should be freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people should be able to determine and control their play by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
Play is flexible, it can be challenging, full of uncertainty and without an intended aim or goal in mind, but most importantly, play is fun!
Play takes many forms; doing nothing in particular, doing lots, being boisterous, showing off, being contemplative, overcoming difficulties etc. Through play children explore the world and learn to take responsibility for their own choices.
Play can be sociable or solitary. It can help children to try things out, test boundaries, develop confidence, explore and experiment with the world around them.
Play Matters – Play for Parents Guide offers an in-depth look at why play matters, play throughout childhood, the benefits of play, as well as lots of fun activities to try. Download Play Matters – Play for Parents Guide.