The scientific case for learning through play

Play is how children thrive. In our paper we look at the science behind the power of play - showing how it helps children pick up the skills to take on the 21st century

The evidence keeps mounting that play is the best way for children to learn – and thrive

From our earliest days, play is how we relate to the world, and to each other. When children have plenty of opportunities to learn playfully, they do what they do best: pursue their natural curiosity. And, as they do, they build skills and aptitudes they’ll keep for life.

The evidence at a glance

There’s a wealth of science behind our understanding of learning through play: studies in teaching and learning, play, and neuroscience. Here are three key things to take from the research.

1. Children are born to learn through play
2. Children should be in charge of their play
3. Five key characteristics unlock playful learning

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Ready to play?

When children play, they learn. They solve problems, think strategically, relate to others, and manage life’s ups and downs. Play helps children learn how to learn – and love learning. We've gathered some of our favourite games. You can play them anywhere – using things you find at home.

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