The Importance of Playtime

“Playtime is our brain’s favourite way of learning”

Diane Ackerman

At The Mead, we like playtime! Our wide variety of playtime activities is a testament to how much we value it: climbing frames, play equipment for every stage, climbing wall, outdoor kitchens, blocks, mats, hoops, balls, astroturf, table-tennis tables, basketball court, reading corner, friendships benches, sandpits and many more. Playtime is a time to relax during the day, catch up with friends and have fun! Playtime can be some of the most memorable parts of childhood. The benefits are broader than this; some of these are documented below.


Play promotes the development and critical thinking skills. Children brainstorm and conceptualise during playtime, encouraged by the wide resources and play equipment we provide. Playtime helps spark curiosity (one of the key characteristics of Meadites) by pursuing new interests and ideas and challenging themselves – whether tackling the monkey bars or working out new strategies for winning at ‘what’s the time, Mr Wolf’.


Children learn to be social through play and interactions through rules, social expectations, problem-solving, compromises and leadership. All these characteristics help to develop attributes in a safe, nurturing environment.

Approaching children from a different year to start a game is commonplace at The Mead, and the children even recently voted themselves to have more of their playtime as a ‘whole school’!


The benefits of being around nature are well documented. Fresh air is very healthy and helps refresh our brains and awaken our senses. A child that is connecting to their environment naturally becomes more relaxed.

Running around and being active is very important for children. Playtime is a way for children to let off steam whilst promoting physical fitness.


Playtime is a chance to be creative through role-play, games and using resources differently. Sharing and playing together teaches children how to deal with their emotions and process sadness and anger whilst also building confidence and self-esteem. Staff are on hand to help resolve any conflicts and ensure everybody has a happy play.