Why Playing With Your Kids is So Important

For children, play is natural—it’s how they learn about themselves, their environment and the people around them. Fantasy play for young children is a way to try on adult roles and skills. Here's how parents can rediscover the rewards of play.






On her days off, attorney Julia Diamond would often find herself running down a hallway waving a ninja sword or playing army with her two sons.

“I could handle this type of play for about half an hour, after that I would come up with ways to extricate myself, making excuses for why I had to do something else,” says Diamond, admitting that she found this kind of play boring—even difficult—at times.


While not all parents find it a chore to get down on the floor with a child and build forts or make stuffed animals talk, many do. Shedding our adult roles and crossing the bridge into the world of make-believe is often a bumpy path with no road signs. We know we should play with our children—and we want to—but may find it tedious and tiring.


But for children, play is natural—it’s how they learn about themselves, their environment and the people around them. Fantasy play for young children is a way to try on adult roles and skills.


Not Just Kids' Stuff
The Rewards of Play
Getting Back to Basics
Entering a Child's World


Not Just Kids’ Stuff
Studies show that through play children learn to take the perspective of others; they learn self-control and the ability to take turns. Children who play make-believe or games with rules are more empathetic, less physically aggressive and more cooperative with other children and adults.


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