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43 Amazing Benefits of Child-led Free Play

Finding time for kids to just play, without rules or structure or screens, can be tricky in this day and age. When they're not in a class or participating in a team practice, many kids are whiling away their spare time in front of a TV or swiping away at their cell phone.

While academics, structured activities, and technology can enrich a child's life, it is essential that these do not squeeze out time for free play. This is the type of self-directed play that kids get up to when adults and screens take a back seat. It involves spontaneous rulemaking, imaginative role play, and engaging with the environment on their own terms and at their own pace.

You might figure, hey, they get plenty of exposure to socialization, creativity, and physical exercise through schooling and extracurricular activities. But, according to the experts, this isn’t quite true.

Free play is vital and it gives kids a very profound developmental leg up in ways that adult-led activities simply cannot.

Here are 43 reasons that free play is so important for children:

Infographic showing the benefits of child-led free play

To learn more about these benefits and the studies that revealed them, check out:

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