Play Therapy Canada

A Definition of Play

Site Index

PTC's definition of play is 'A physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective'.
There are other areas of human activity that may also be defined in this way hence the need for contextual elaboration.

For our purposes ‘play’ may assist learning and self development. It can be undertaken by individuals or groups of children spontaneously or as part of a planned activity. There isn’t any intervention so there is no need for clinical supervision, quality management, code of ethics or adult training. The only concern is that there is a physically safe environment.

A question often raised today is whether children know how to play. This is probably a philosophical question since children's play is a natural activity essential for their healthy development. It may be that children play differently from their forebears.

Neuroscience research confirms the importance of play for infants in developing their brains and minds.  It has also been shown that exposure to metaphor and symbols, as used in play,  has a beneficial effect upon the development of the brain.


See also:  Play Work    Therapeutic Play

Filial Therapy  Play Therapy  Child Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology (CPCP)

Back to the Therapeutic Play Continuum

About Play Therapy
Users & Commisioners
Professional Practitioners
Members' Services
Joining PTC
Conferences & Events
Publications & Books
Links to Related Sites
Consultancy Services
Contacting PTC



Home Page    


Ó Copyright Play Therapy Canada 2006 Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

PTC web site designed by Fern Hill Associates Ltd