A Right of Every Child
Play is essential to optimal child development. Every child should have the opportunity to play. There are two kinds of play, free play and guided play, and they are both linked to social and academic development. Play is that crucial to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children that it has been recognised by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.
Article 31: 1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
Article 31: 2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
A Long History
The study of play has a long history. Purposes of play in children’s development and the reason children play have been researched for well over a century by scholars and thinkers from a range of disciplines. Before the 19th and early 20th centuries, theories on play are largely philosophical.
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