5 Amazing Ways How Unstructured Play is Beneficial for Children


We have heard that play benefits all areas of a child's development.


What is unstructured play and what are its benefits? 

Also known as free play, unstructured play is open-ended and a child-led activity.


According to the American Psychological Association, "A wealth of research shows that unstructured play — play that isn’t organised or directed by adults or older peers and that generally doesn’t have a defined purpose or outcome — is a fundamental necessity for children to thrive physically, emotionally, mentally and socially."


Educational psychologist Lauren McNamara, PhD, founder and director of Recess Project CANADA supports this idea of unstructured play, (for all members of the family even) especially during the pandemic. 


“We’re all under stress at this time, and play is an important catalyst to relieve stress” - McNamara


Read on to find out why unstructured play has its benefits and some ideas you can start off with.



Unstructured Play Ideas

1. Make some play dough and roll it up into logs, balls, or flatten them into pancake shapes!

2. Doodle on blank canvas sheets with crayons. 

3. Play dress-up with old clothes, scarves or hats. 

4. Build and decorate houses, rockets, forts, and more with recycled cereal boxes or paper towel rolls.

5. Go outdoors to the nearest park or beach! 


Do ensure that the things you give your children are safe and age-appropriate. For example, they should be non-toxic, unbreakable and too large to be choking hazards.


Have fun!

-Y Plus SG