Children's Hospital Colorado

The Importance of Play in Child Development (S5:E8)

While the majority of Western culture tends to focus on a child’s academic readiness and success, the benefits of play are critically important to child development.

Listen to pediatric experts discuss learning through play

This episode is part of our Resident Files series, where we are pleased to feature the thoughts and work of talented pediatric residents. In this episode, we are joined by Gabriella Gonzales, MD, and Alex Rakowsky, MD, to talk about their recent article on the importance of individual and group play in child development.

Dr. Gonzales is PGY3 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Rakowsky is Associate Program Director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • Role of pediatricians in promoting play
  • What children learn through play
  • How parents learn about their children through play
  • How to assess and promote children’s play in the clinic
  • Overcoming barriers to play
  • The role of structured vs. unstructured play

Resources for providers:

  • “The Importance of Play” by Gabriella Gonzales, MD and Alex Rakowsky, MD, in Pediatrics in Review, to be published Fall 2021