Playful vs Free play

In today’s world, many parents do not appreciate the importance of free play or guided play with their children and have come to think of worksheets and other highly structured activities as play.‍  –PEDIATRICS Volume 142, number 3, September 2018 5 Downloaded from by guest on December 31, 2018

Free-play, or simply “play” is defined here as freely chosen, self-directed activity, not to be confused with “playful,” adult-directed activity.  Research shows that children benefit from a balance of both of these:  adult-directed and self-directed experiences. Just as children benefit from both hearing books being read aloud to them by adults and practicing reading books themselves, a balanced classroom includes both adult-directed and child-directed experiences.  

Of course children learn through playful activities, but let’s remember what free play really means!   Teacher-led songs and games are wonderful, but they are by no means a substitute for free play.  Let’s not forget this!

Adult directed play is not “free-Play. . .”.  “Free play is the means by which children learn to make friends, overcome their fears, solve their own problems, and generally take control of their own lives.  It is also the primary means by which children practice and acquire the physical and intellectual skills that are essential for success in the culture in which they are growing . . . –Peter Gray, Free to Learn


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s