This literature review focuses on the importance of play for children. There are two types of play: child-directed play (unstructured) and teacher-directed play (structured). This literature review uses scholarly articles and information to go deeply into the types and benefits of play. Free play, play-based learning and guided play are the few this literature review that discuss their benefits for children. Play helps children in academically, social-emotional, language, self regulation and builds executive functions. Although play has all these benefit factors for children's development, this literature review will discuss the decline of recess in elementary school in the United States. Educators can implement recess, unstructured and structured play for the children to gain the nurturing benefits play offers.