Learn through Play
Coupled with the right to education, the UN Convention also depicts the right to play for children. In Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture), children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities.
Play is one of the most distinctive features of early childhood. Through play, children both enjoy and challenge their current capacities, whether they are playing alone or with others.
Play is the fundamental way that children enjoy their childhood. It is essential to their quality of life as children.
• Playing is fun: it is how children enjoy themselves.
• Play promotes children’s development, learning, imagination, creativity and independence.
• Play can help to keep children healthy and active.
• Play allows children to experience and encounter boundaries, learning to assess and manage risk in their lives; both physical and social.
• Play helps children to understand the people and places in their lives, learn about their environment and develop their sense of community.
• Play allows children to find out about themselves, their abilities, their interests and the contribution they can make.
• Play can be therapeutic. It helps children to deal with difficult or painful circumstances such as emotional stress or medical treatment.
• Play can be a way of building and maintaining important relationships with friends, carers and family members
2015 Positive Play Day
The value of play
Playing is integral to children’s enjoyment of their lives, their health and their development. Children and young people – disabled and non-disabled – whatever their age, culture, ethnicity or social and economic background, need and want to play, indoors and out, in whatever way they can. Through playing, children are creating their own culture, developing their abilities, exploring their creativity and learning about themselves, other people and the world around them.
Children need and want to stretch and challenge themselves when they play. Play provision and play space that is stimulating and exciting allows children to encounter and learn about risk. This helps them to build confidence, learn skills and develop resilience at their own pace.