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The Importance of Play

OLC Playgrounds believes that the growth of our children begins with the freedom of play. Unstructured play allows our children to evolve as individuals by inspiring them to develop creativity, imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive, social and emotional strength. Play helps them discover new concepts, new worlds, and new levels of confidence. Play should be fun.

Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry, said, “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.”

The following is an excerpt from a Clinical Report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics on the importance of play in a child’s development.

“The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds”

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd

The Committee on Communications

The Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

“Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue. Ideally, much of play involves adults, but when play is controlled by adults, children acquiesce to adult rules and concerns and lose some of the benefits play offers them, particularly in developing creativity, leadership, and group skills. In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies. In fact, it has been suggested that encouraging unstructured play may be an exceptional way to increase physical activity  levels in children, which is one important strategy in the resolution of the obesity epidemic. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.” 

The full report can be found at

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