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Importance of Child Play

Healthy play opportunities are an essential part of childhood. This is true both for cognitive and physiological development. Additionally, play has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in children. Yet in today’s world, children are getting outdoors less often for a number of reasons ranging from parental fears of potential dangers to the increase in more passive entertainment venues such as video games and television. If you are interested in learning more about play, the following several articles are worth reading. Additionally, visit the National Wildlife Federation Web site for ideas on fostering healthy play.

Hurwitz, S. (2002). To be successful: Let them play! Childhood Education 79, 101-102.

Pellegrini A. & Bohn C. (2005). The role of recess in children’s cognitive performance and school adjustment. Educational Researcher. 34, 13–19.

Wells, N. (2000). At home with nature: Effects of “greenness” on children’s cognitive functioning. Environment and Behavior, 32, 775-795.

Wells, N., & Evans, G.(2003). Nearby nature: A buffer of life stress among rural children. Environment and Behavior, 35, 311-330.

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