A large body of research demonstrates the immense benefits of play for children’s academic learning and development. However, “playful learning,” a teaching approach that uses free-play as well as guided-play activities, is disappearing from many school settings, especially in schools located in underserved communities. In this brief, we discuss the value of play, highlight playful learning approaches at the UCLA Community School, and introduce organizations that advocate for play-based learning policies. We also provide suggestions and further reading for teachers and families.
Report in English and Spanish