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Why is Play Important?

This recent article in The New York Times outlines why humans and other species play and why it is important.  There are many questions associated with the whys and hows of play and this article admittedly skims the surface.  What is "free play" and why is it important?  Are our children suffering with their busier schedules, thus not getting a chance for free play?  Very interesting! 

I am a Head Start teacher and yes free play is important for children. They learn how to socialize, communicate, use their imagination. They learn problem solving skills, sharing, make friendships. It also helps with verbal skills.
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