Play is universal; it is an essential part of growing up. Play is how children learn. Play supports children’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. Toys are a vital part of play. Toys spark ideas and inspire children to play and learn.

The Value of Play

Play isn’t simply a pass-time. It’s a crucial part of a healthy childhood.~Jodie Benveniste, Psychologist and author

The Australian Toy Association has developed the Value of Play website to support parents, professionals and retailers in encouraging play for all children. Play is an essential part of every childhood. Play is the way children explore, create and discover. Through play children learn about themselves and the world around them.

Play can help families spend time together and build strong connections. When we engage and play with our children, we are helping them to develop strong social and emotional skills.

Play can help children make sense of what is going on, especially through pretend play and story telling. Play can help forget about our worries – even just for a while. Play lets us enjoy a good laugh, and quality time with those we love and care about most.

Parents have an important role in encouraging and supporting play. Make sure there is time for children to play every day. Children benefit from quiet play as well as active play. Choose toys that will inspire play. Most importantly, get in on the action and have fun!

Collaborating in play

The ATA’s Value of Play campaign and content has been developed in partnership and under licence from the Toy Association through their Genius of Play™ initiative. The Toy Association is the U.S.A based not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages.

Both the ATA and Toy Association believe play is serious business and we are equally committed to promoting, safe, educational and most importantly fun play opportunities amongst children of all ages.

For further information on the Toy Association visit

For further information on The Genius of Play™ visit