Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2017


This literature review stresses the importance of play for all early learners. The review begins by discussing the history of play and its impact on the evolution of family dynamics over time. Studies have shown that playing provides a safe and necessary way for young learners to be able to practice and experience a variety of life skills, including problem solving within a peer group while gaining and enhancing language skills. Through daily play, young children gain valuable life experiences through a variety of roles that will support growth and ultimately translate into adulthood. According to research, play is an essential aspect of the development of key skills including social, behavioral, language, and cognitive. These skills developed through play as young learners will grow into beneficial and essential skills used not only throughout childhood, but also into adulthood. Due to the essential developmental benefits that play provides children, it is critical that educators, administrators, and families are provided with specific research to support the need for play as well as the benefit provided by play to the young learner.