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Episode 24: How children learn through play

We know that children learn new skills and concepts through play - so what can teachers and parents do to encourage this kind of learning?

13 April 2021

By PsychCrunch

What role does play have in child development?

In this episode, our presenter, Ginny Smith talks to some top play researchers to find out how children learn new skills and concepts through play, and explores what teachers and parents can do to encourage this kind of learning.

Ginny also discovers how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way kids play and learn.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Professor Marilyn Fleer and Dr Prabhat Rai from Monash University, and Dr Suzanne Egan from the University of Limerick.

Episode credits:

Presented and produced by Ginny Smith.

Script edits by Matthew Warren.

Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler.

PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler.

Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Download this episode here

Background reading for this episode

The Research Digest and The Psychologist archives have plenty on play, including:

Our sponsors Routledge Psychology are giving PsychCrunch listeners the chance to discover even more ground-breaking research: free access to 5 articles of your choosing from over 4.5 million at, plus a 20% discount on books at