The team provides ample evidence for the notion that without play, language, culture and technology would not be possible. They are convinced that play has a relationship with intellectual achievement and emotional well-being.
However, the paper also points out that about half of the world’s children are living in cities which results in children being over-supervised and over-scheduled. This is likely to have a negative effect on children’s independence, resourcefulness and overall development. Further, increasing urbanization, increasing stress in the family, changes in educational systems and an increase in the time children spend with digital devices at an ever younger age are all factors contributing to less time spent playing.
The paper offers a wealth of thoroughly researched information for early childhood educators, teachers or trainee teachers and could form the basis of a parents’ evening on the crucial role of play in children’s development.
The paper is only available in English and can be downloaded here.