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Caribbean Journal of Education

Make Time to Play

Publication Date: 
September 2015

Research worldwide has proven that play is an essential element of developmentally appropriate, high-quality, early childhood education programmes. Play provides benefits for cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and moral development for children from all socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic  backgrounds. Play is at its best when consciously facilitated by skilled teachers and parents who understand what can be learned from observing children  at play and how play contributes to children’s mastery of concepts and skills. Over the last five years, Jamaican organizations have been transforming a negative cultural concept of play into a greater awareness of play’s important pedagogical value. This has led to an increasing amount of recognition  from a policy level. This article explores Jamaica’s outlook on play from the level of policy and practice, shares a study on the use of play in parenting education and supports a call for new activities aimed at further entrenchment of play as an accepted component of childhood in Jamaica.

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