The Importance of Play

The evidence for play as integral to children's joy and love of learning is overwhelming. Parents, educators, and communities can support play by building knowledge and practice with children. 

Parent/carer webinar recordingPlay banner 02

Hear about the brain-building benefits of play from educators with decades of experience in a range of settings. Speaker draw on the international support for play and outline why it is essential for children's development, ways to support and enhance children’s play, the benefits of nature and risk in play, and things you can do to get more play in your day.

For parents and carers of young learners.


  • ACT Education Directorate, Early Learning Pedagogy, Sally Johnson & Belinda Lum,
  • FOOSHC Director (out of school hours care), Forrest Primary School, Ali Sewter
  • Woden Valley ELC Nature Pedagogy Leader,  Gabby Millgate

1 pg PLAYThe webinar recording will be available here soon.

The Parent/carer resources are here.  

Evidence supporting the importance of play for children’s educational outcomes, health and long-term wellbeing is well-documented. Despite this, access to play is often limited, regulated, and only partially understood by adults. 



To build your understanding of play, see the following links:

Dr Peter Gray, author of “Free to Learn,” defines play and discusses why unleashing the instinct of play makes children happier, more self-reliant, and better students for life.

Pasi Sahlberg, educator, teacher, and author has worked as a schoolteacher, teacher-educator, academic, and policymaker in Finland, and has advised schools and education system leaders around the world. He is currently Professor of Education at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia. Read his blog Let the children play.

The True Play Foundation seeks to support the work of educators and communities who are committed to creating practices, programs and policies that protect and support the right of every child to uninterrupted, self-determined True Play.

The five characteristics of learning through play.

Neuroscience educator, teacher, and public speaker, Nathan Wallis provides useful videos that can help with ideas about learning at home:

Outdoor play

Outdoor spaces and thoughtfully designed playgrounds are important for children's play. Knowing where to find great playgrounds and what makes them good for your family's needs supports parents to be part of the playground conversation. Check out this useful, local Playground Finder.

Why play is important - article (languages other than English): Arabic (PDF: 395kb), Dari (PDF: 398kb), Dinka (PDF: 308kb), Hakha Chin (PDF: 301kb), Karen (PDF: 216kb), Persian (PDF: 197kb), Simplified Chinese (PDF: 329kb), Swahili (PDF: 304kb), Tamil (PDF: 705kb), Vietnamese (PDF: 322kb)