Is there educational value in play?

Child development experts are beginning to reexamine whether the role of play in the learning process may be more important than was originally thought. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that “play (or some available free time in the case of older children and adolescents) is essential to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”

Dr. Stuart Brown, the foremost authority on play behavior in the U.S., contends that play makes us smarter in the sense that it enables us to process new information, adapt to new situations, and handle complex social interactions better than …