The importance of play in childhood

Psychologists’ advice is that play is beneficial for children developmentally and socially. In this Christmas episode of All in the Mind Claudia visits the Play Well exhibition at Wellcome Collection which looks at the significance of play in childhood and across society as a way of learning, expressing emotions and building empathy. Claudia’s joined at the exhibition by play experts Maia and Rachel.

Children in the UK have written letters to Father Christmas since Victorian times and Dr Sian Pooley at the University of Oxford shows how they reveal the history of play.

LEGO Professor of Play Paul Ramchandani at the University of Cambridge researches the developmental benefits for children and looks at how fathers play with their children.

And how do you get children off the computer and playing outside? Helen Dodd, Professor of Child Psychology at Reading Univesity, and Dr Pete Etchells, Reader in Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa University, look at the evidence and ask if a balance can be achieved.