The Essential Role of Play in School Contexts for the Well-Being of Children

  • Sandra J. Stone Northern Arizona University
Keywords: play, well-being, children, school


This article affirms the essential role of play for the well-being of children within the school context. The article explores the definition of play, why play is so important, gives examples of play in schools, and advocates for a child-centered approach to learning. The downside of a curriculum-centered approach is explored as an agent of anti-well-being for children. Standards and standardized tests are toxic to children’s healthy growth and development, crowding out or eliminating play from schools. The article advocates for a place for play in schools in order to promote the well-being of every child.

Author Biography

Sandra J. Stone, Northern Arizona University

Sandra J. Stone, PhD, an author and speaker, is Professor Emerita at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Stone’s publications and research focus on multiage education, play, and literacy. She has worked extensively with schools and teachers internationally, particularly with multiage education. She is the past editor for the Journal of Research in Childhood Education and for several columns in the journal Childhood Education. She serves on editorial boards for several international research journals.

How to Cite
Stone, S. J. (2017). The Essential Role of Play in School Contexts for the Well-Being of Children. LEARNing Landscapes, 10(2), 305-318.