What is the importance of Play in a child’s life? 

Here’s a beautiful poem by Anita Wadley which was written in 1974 as a response to questions asked about why children should go to school and “play” there.


Just Playing

by Anita Wadley


When I’m building in the block room,

Please don’t say I’m “Just playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play,

About balance, I may be an architect someday.

When I’m getting all dressed up,

Setting the table, caring for the babies,

Don’t get the idea I’m “Just Playing.”

I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint,

Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,

Please don’t let me hear you say, “He is Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I just might be a teacher someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle

Or some “playing” at my school,

Please don’t feel the time is wasted in “play.”

For you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.

I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,

Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is “Just Play.”

I’m learning to follow directions and see the differences.

I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,

Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning how my body works.

I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,

And I say, “I just played.”

Please don’t misunderstand me.

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning to enjoy and be successful in my work.

I’m preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work is play.