The Benefits of Play

June 30, 2021

We love PLAY around here at The Wise Family! There are SO many benefits for a child when play is incorporated on a daily basis. Not only does it encourage creativity but it develops imagination, improves dexterity, as well as their physical, cognitive and emotional strength as well. Play promotes healthy brain development, too. Adults can also benefit from play, too!

Here is some helpful insight on the benefits of play from some of our Wise Team members.

Benefits of play By Kasey Cain, Licensed Professional Counselor

Play is universal. It is both simple and complex. Play brings laughter, joy, creativity, and connection. Play also supports various types of development – social skills, physical abilities, literacy skills, problem-solving, etc. It is good for the body, the mind, and the heart. Whenever I am asked about the importance of play I go to these two Mr. Rogers quotes that, to me, encapsulate the importance of play:

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” 


“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them to feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit.”

Whether you are a parent, family friend, guardian, aunt, teacher, or another adult in a child’s life, one of the most beneficial things you can do is make time for play. Your day may have been long and tiring and you may not feel like playing puppets or dressing up, and sometimes that is fine because you have to take care of yourself too. But remember this – play is important for adults too!

Play can improve memory, keep our brains and bodies feeling younger, reduce stress, boost creativity, and increase our connections with others. I love play so much I found a way to keep doing it as part of my job. I encourage you and the children in your lives to PLAY EVERY DAY!

Benefits of play Vanessa Mackall Lal, Resident in Counseling 

When most adults recall some of their most cherished childhood memories, they often include elements of play. Play is such an important part of our development, and it’s so much more than what it appears to be. Children use play not only as a form of entertainment, but as a means of communicating their feelings, and ideas.

The power of play supports cognitive development, social-emotional skills, creativity, and an overall sense of happiness for both children and adults. Play is also a great way to bring families together, creating opportunities for shared laughs and loving memories that can last a lifetime. The benefits of play are nearly endless and can be experienced at any age.

Let’s take time to appreciate how something so pure and simple as play can be therapeutic and a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

Amy Andrukonis, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

Many of us have joyful, almost magical memories of play from childhood. But when it comes to playing with children now, as adults, we often feel bored, confused, or even awkward.

If playing with children doesn’t feel natural to you, you are not alone. One helpful tip for feeling more engaged during play is to watch for clues of what your child might be “working on” during their playtime. Play is purposeful. In his book Playful Parenting, Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen says that “the more intelligent the animal, the more it plays.”

Is your child suddenly really struggling with losing board games? Are they really focused on the concept of “good guys” vs. “bad guys?” Has their play recently become more aggressive? More often than not, playtime is when children learn social-emotional skills, recover from difficult feelings and experiences, and experiment with different roles and behaviors.

Learn to appreciate play for its intelligent purpose, and have fun PLAYING detective!

Until next time, Be Wise!