Play Helps Young Children Be Ready for School

Children playing on road rug

With the increasing pressures of school readiness, many child care programs are actually cutting back on unstructured free play time. Pressured teachers believe that structured, teacher-led activities are the only way to help children be ready to read, do math, and understand science when they enter kindergarten. But what do we really know about young children and play? How does play help children learn?

Many adults are mistaken about play. We view “playing” as a frivolous activity, meant to fill …