Making Connections between Play and Healthy Development: Reasons to Promote Play-based Learning Environments

By Deborah A. Stevens-Smith and Dolores A. Stegelin.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 13, 2015 $US5.00

Contemporary classrooms for younger learners are defined by new parameters such as testing, ethnic and language diversity, inclusion and integration of learners with special needs, poverty and income disparity, and children with obesity and other health-related issues. Making connections between play-based learning and healthy child development is a constant need for teachers and other decision-makers who shape the learning environments, instructional methods, and daily routines for millions of children. This article makes the case for using research-based reasons to promote play-based learning environments and identifies recent findings in four areas of play-related research that impact healthy child development. The purpose of this article is to articulate for decision-makers the important connections between play research, healthy child development, and the policies that support active learning environments and instructional approaches.

Keywords: Play, Cognitive Development, Health

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 13, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 483.631KB)).

Dr. Deborah A. Stevens-Smith

Professor, Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

Dr. Dolores A. Stegelin

Professor, Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA