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Play is children’s work

February 1, 2013

Here’s a great idea…

Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood says,

“Play is often talked about as if it were a break from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

In other words…

Often we think of play as an indulgence for children. But, play really is serious learning for children. Play helps children learn about themselves and others, their environment, and the world around them. It helps them to develop small and large motor skills, language skills, problem solving skills, leadership skills, and social-emotional skills. Play is serious business for healthy child development.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

You can support your children’s play by providing appropriate toys and by taking an interest in their play. Help your children use toys creatively. Pose age-appropriate problems or challenges and encourage your children to come up with solutions, but don’t insist that they solve the problem if they lose interest. Follow your children’s lead and honor their preferences. As you join in their play, your children learn valuable skills and you forge strong bonds with them.

To find out more…

 about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You might also enjoy reading The Secure Child by Stanley I. Greenspan.

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