Let Them Play

A Systematic Review Investigating the Benefits of Free Play in Emotional Development of Children


  • Saba Ahmed Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi - Pakistan https://orcid.org/0009-0008-2189-9250
  • Dania Shoaib Khan Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi - Pakistan
  • Afshan Syed Mehmood NED University of Engineering & Technology - Pakistan




Abstract Views: 646

Play-based learning has been increasingly discussed in existing literature as it enhances holistic child development and facilitates essential life skills. Free play is often regarded as most beneficial for child development allowing children to take charge of their learning and encouraging problem-solving skills and creativity. Free play allows children for independent learning as it helps them to gain essential life skills making it an important aspect of holistic child development. Owing to its autonomous nature, it nurtures emotional, physical and cognitive aspects of the personality in early childhood. Therefore, this review of the literature aims to investigate the role of free play in fostering emotional development during early childhood. The researchers employed a systematic literature review. The existing literature on free play was meticulously studied, following the given guidelines and methodological framework. The existing literature suggests that free play can facilitate the development of emotional intelligence, resilience, emotional expression and coping strategies. During free play, children are free to use their imagination and creativity without adult interference which leads to intrinsic motivation, creativity and self-exploration.


Child education, Early childhood care, Emotional development, Free play educators


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How to Cite

Ahmed, S., Khan, D. S., & Mehmood, A. S. (2023). Let Them Play: A Systematic Review Investigating the Benefits of Free Play in Emotional Development of Children. Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review, 3(4), 509–520. https://doi.org/10.48112/aessr.v3i4.660