More than just fun: a place for games in playful learning / Más que diversión: el lugar de los juegos reglados en el aprendizaje lúdico

Brenna Hassinger-Das, Tamara S. Toub, Jennifer M. Zosh, Jessica Michnick, Roberta Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Games play a significant role in childhood, fuelling hours of engagement and social interaction, and probably much learning as well. Board games, card games and outdoor games (such as Tag) first come to mind, but more recently, games have also gone digital. In this piece, we offer a new perspective by placing games within the established construct of ‘playful learning’. We review key elements of playful learning and the two subtypes: free play and guided play. We suggest that games promote learning in ways similar to other playful learning situations. Games involve fun, a sense of curiosity and an inhibition of reality, in active, engaging, meaningful and socially interactive contexts. We argue that games therefore belong alongside free play and guided play to form a trio of playful learning experiences. This perspective adds to a growing understanding of the role of games in supporting children’s learning and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-218
Number of pages28
JournalInfancia y Aprendizaje
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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