Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Value of Play

Browsing through articles in parenting magazines, newspapers, class descriptions for parents, and new book titles, it's not hard to spot that the topic of children's play is of special concern to parents, researchers, and policy makers alike these days.

The New York Times and NPR both featured the topic this past month:

"The Evolution of Play: Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills" by Alix Spiegel was featured on NPR's "Morning Edition" on February 21, 2008. Focusing on imaginative play, this report calls attention to what researchers are saying: imaginative play allows children to work on self-regulation, an important skill for future success in life. Click here for the full story.

"Taking Play Seriously" by Robin Marantz Henig in the February 17, 2008 issue of The New York Times. Researchers have been studying the evolution of play and its purpose for years. What is the value of play for humans? With so many parents concerned about the loss of play in their children's lives, Henig reports on what the research says about play and why it is so important. Read the full story here.

What do you think? Do children still have ample opportunity for play in their lives today? What form does this play take? Is it important? How important is play at the preschool level? For school-aged children? For adults?

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