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A Case for Unstructured Play

We’ve collected some of our favorite quotes about the benefits of unstructured play to share with you!

We believe in the importance of unstructured play, especially in a safe and creative environment, outside of the school day. That’s why our Camp Joe’s summer camp program offers a healthy balance of instructor-led and child-led experiences.

But physical education classes don't deliver the same benefits as recess. Researchers suspect that's because PE classes are too structured and rely too much on adult-imposed rules. To reap all the benefits of play, a play break must be truly playful.

-Parenting Science

Recent research suggests that children should experience twice as much unstructured time as structured play experiences and touts the benefits of unstructured play on whole child development.

-The Genius of Play

Unstructured active play with others, including with parents, siblings, and peers, is a major opportunity to cultivate social skills. This is because all play with others requires solving some form of a social problem, such as deciding what to play, who can play, when to start, when to stop, and the rules of engagement.

-JAMA Pediatrics

Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function (ie, the process of learning, rather than the content), which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions.

-The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children

More than anything else, play teaches children how to work together and, at the same time, how to be alone. It teaches them how to be human.

-The Secret Power of Play

Choose unstructured play this summer at Camp Joe’s!