Play is fundamental to children’s development.

Today, a large amount of children’s time is spent on academics and test prep, screen time, and adult-directed activities squeezing out time for play both at home and at school. Yet, there is a wealth of research showing the benefits of child-directed, creative play (not to be confused with guided play or education game play) for children’s health, strength, and success.

Some benefits of child-directed play are:

Cognitive. Play greatly improves academic performance, attention, executive functioning and creative thinking.

Social and Emotional skills. Child-directed play helps children develop stress management, self-regulation, empathy, and resilience.

Physical health. During play, children move, run, climb, stretch, balance, improve coordination and build strength.

Collected Play Resources

  • TED Talk: Tales of Creativity and Play by Tim Brown. At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

Sunflower Play Initiative is a community outreach program of Sunflower Creative Arts, a Delray Beach based 501c3 nonprofit empowering children to be confident, creative and compassionate through Play, Nature and the Arts.