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40 Quotes About Play That Remind Us Why It’s So Important

What’s inside this article: 40 quotes about play from children’s psychologists, psychiatrists, and author’s to remind us why playtime is so important for childhood development.

Play is the basis of almost all learning in early childhood. Decades of research by professionals show us that play is an essential part of a child’s development. 

We must provide our children with time for both structured and unstructured play. This is how gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social and emotional skills, and life skills develop from a young age. 

As adults with busy lives, we might forget how vital play is sometimes. It’s so much more than just fun and games.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has even stated that play is fundamentally important for 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity.

There are also developmental Milestones associated with play. If you would like to review the different categories of play and the Milestones within those categories, you can view those here. 

Quotes About Play

Here is a list of some of my favorite quotes about play to help remind you of the importance of play in childhood development. 

I’ve also created some printable posters that you can use to decorate your classroom or playroom or just anywhere that you want to place these to remind you about why it’s so important to let your children play.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Rodger Von Oech

quotes about play

Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
Diane Ackerman

 Children need the freedom and the time to play; play is not a luxury play is a necessity.
Kay Redfield Jamison

 Children learn as they play; most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.
Fred Donaldson

 Play builds the kind of free-and-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs.
James Hines Jr.

  Play is often talked about as if it was a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.
Fred Rogers

 Time spent playing with children is never time wasted
Don Lantero

Play is the highest form of research.
Albert Einstein

 Play is not just about having fun but about taking risks, experimenting, and testing boundaries.

 Childhood is about playing, discovering, and believing in dreams; the imagination and possibilities are endless.

Play is your child’s most natural form of expression.

quotes about play

Think of playtime like an innovation lab where tomorrow’s civilization is being actively designed.
Jordan Shapiro

Play gives children an outlet to express their emotions and feelings and helps them to develop a sense of who they are.

When children pretend, they're using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand; a sock can be a puppet; a small child can be a superhero. - Fred Rogers , Quotes About Play

When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand; a sock can be a puppet; a small child can be a superhero.
Fred Rogers

You can learn more about a child in one hour of play than you can in one year of conversation.

Play turns out to be stunningly essential in childhood it’s like love sunshine and broccoli all juiced together.
Lenore Skenazy

Lenore Skenazy Quote about Play

Play is an active form of learning that unites the mind-body and spirit.

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.
Carl Jung

Whenever children say ” let’s play pretend,” a new landscape of possibilities for learning is revealed when children pretend they try on new feelings, roles, and ideas, they stretch their minds along with their imaginations.

It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
Fred Rogers

Risky play is really important for kids all kids because it teaches hazard assessment, it teaches delayed gratification, it teaches resilience the teachers confidence when kids get outside and practice bravery they learned valuable life lessons.
Caroline Paul

Play is foundational for bonding relationships and fostering tolerance. It’s where we learn to trust and where we learn about the rules of gameplay; it increases creativity and resilience, and it’s all about the generation of diversity of interactions, diversity of behaviors, diversity of connections.
Isabel Behncke

The drive to play freely is a basic biological drive. Lack of free play may not kill the physical body as with lack of air, food, or water, but it kills the spirit and stunts mental growth.
Peter Grey

You can’t use up creativity; the more you use, the more you have.
Maya Angelou

Play matters because people matter. It reminds us of our interdependence and gives us a chance to really see other people and, in turn, to be really and truly seen.
Jill Violet

A child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior in play. It is as though he were a head taller than himself.
Lev Vygotsky

Play is training for the unexpected.
Mark Beckoff

Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child.

Through observing children at play, we recognize what their worries, concerns, and fantasies are. We learn about their basic needs, their feelings of love and anger, their rivalries and fears of failure, their secret wishes, and desires.
Jerome Singer

Anything that engages your creative mind, the ability to make connections between unrelated things, and imagine new ways to communicate is good for you.
Girija Kaimal

For a small child, there is no division between playing and learning, between the things he or she does just for fun and the things that are educational. The child learns while living, and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.
Penelope Leach

If we want our kids to have happy, productive lives, we must allow more time for play, not less.
Peter Grey

When we deny children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world.
Erika Christakis

Play is the road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.
Joseph Pearce

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play.
Leo Buscaglia

Toys are the tools of childhood, and the simple act of playing allows kids to develop a lifelong love of learning.
Mark Carson

For a child, it is in the simplicity of play that the complexity of life is sorted, like puzzle pieces joined together to make sense of the world.
L.R. Knost

Life is more fun if you play games.
Roald Dahl

Let them play! The more they play, the more resilient and socially adept they will become.
Jessica Joelle Alexander

These quotes underscore the importance of play for children, highlighting its role in learning, creativity, social interaction, and overall well-being.

Play is seen not merely as an activity for entertainment or leisure but as a vital component of human development and creativity.

If you’d like to download the posters (12 in total) to use in your classroom / playroom / home / office, you can get them in printer-ready PDF format here.

Printable Posters: Quotes About Play