::Play (activity)


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Child playing with bubbles

In psychology and ethology, play is a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities normally associated with recreational pleasure and enjoyment.<ref>Garvey, C. (1990). Play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.</ref> Play is commonly associated with children and juvenile-level activities, but play occurs at any life stage, and among other higher-functioning (non-human) animals as well.

Many prominent researchers in the field of psychology, including Melanie Klein, Jean Piaget, William James, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Lev Vygotsky have viewed play as confined to the human species, believing play was important for human development and using different research methods to prove their theories.

Play is often interpreted as frivolous; yet the player can be intently focused on their objective, particularly when play is structured and goal-oriented, as in a game. Accordingly, play can range from relaxed, free-spirited and spontaneous through frivolous to planned or even compulsive.<ref name=Huizinga>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Play is not just a pastime activity; it has the potential to serve as an important tool in numerous aspects of daily life for adolescents, adults, and cognitively advanced non-human species (such as primates). Not only does play promote and aid in physical development (such as hand–eye coordination), but it also aids in cognitive development and social skills, and can even act as a stepping stone into the world of integration, which can be a very stressful process.

Play (activity) sections
Intro   Definitions   Forms of Play  Play and Children  Play and Sports  Play and Adults  Play in the Workplace   Play and Seniors   Play and Animals  Benefits of Play  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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