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Playing the Day Away

by Susan J. Oliver and Edgar Klugman
May/June 2002
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/playing-the-day-away/5014566/

"It is in playing, and perhaps only in playing, that the child is free to be creative."
- D. W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality, Routledge (1989)

As Natural As Breathing

Think about all the young children who have passed through the doors of your child care program over the years. Each one is an individual, a special young person who approaches the world in his own unique way. Yet there are some behaviors that nearly all children have in common - activities that come to them as naturally as breathing and eating. Anyone who knows the world of children will agree that play is one of those behaviors.

There are compelling developmental reasons for a child's instinct to play. Play is the way a child explores his world, builds skills, exercises his imagination, and learns through experience. "All play means something," wrote the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga in Homo Ludens, his pre-World War II seminal study on the social function of play in western culture. "It goes beyond the confines of purely physical or purely biological activity. It is a significant function - that is to say, there is some sense to it."

Play IS for Keeps

At Playing for Keeps (www.playingforkeeps.org), we believe that play ...

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