|Return to NCHPAD Home||Get the Discover Booklet for Free!|
|A | A | A | A|
|What is Play?||What is Leisure?||What is Inclusion?||Finding Leisure||Finding Resources|
What is Play
Children are at play all around us. Play can occur alone or in groups. It can be spontaneous or as part of a planned activity. Play can be defined as a physical or mental activity that has no purpose or objective outside of pure enjoyment or amusement (Definition of play, 2004).
It is not hard to recognize the benefits of play because as an adult, you have already benefited from childhood play experiences; and, at least intuitively, you just know that children receive many good things from their playful experiences. For example, during play it is easy to observe pure joy, hear the genuine laughter, and observe genuine friendships emanating from not only our children, but also others that we see at play. Play is unique because it produces benefits that span multiple functional domains, including: physical, emotional, mental, and social.
Play is for everyone! A young boy and his father play at the park.
All of these benefits are derived from play experiences. Realizing this is hindsight, of course, because we have learned as much through our own experience, intuition, and observation. It has been further reinforced through academic research, anecdotal evidence reported in the media, the proliferation of leisure-related organizations and businesses, and stories shared among parents, teachers, recreation service providers, and others in the community concerned about the lives of children and youth. It should come as no surprise to learn that there is now widespread societal recognition and acceptance of the value and importance of play in the development and nurturing of children, all children, in helping them to grow up to have well-balanced, healthy lifestyles.
|About This Site||Site Map||Accessibility Statement||NCA||NCHPAD|
This online resource has been created through a collaborative project of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) with content and design development by the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) and the Indiana University School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. This project is funded through Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59/CCU522742-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
All rights reserved. No part of this guide may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Copyright 2013, Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.