How Play Fits Into Social and Emotional Learning

  1. Updates


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Why are we so quick to dismiss play as a force for learning? As Playworks CEO and founder Jill Vialet notes,

"Consider something as simple as a game of foursquare. For kids to keep the game going, they have to practice social and emotional skills. They must learn to follow and create rules, settle conflicts, notice and manage emotions when their turns are over, support and include other students, and set goals and learn from failure."

Districts like Chicago Public Schools are finding innovative ways to encourage social and emotional learning in non-traditional ways, including through play. Read Jill Vialet's take on how play fits into social and emotional learning on edupulse, Scholastic's blog for school administrators.

More Updates


kids playing basketball
kids playing basketball

November 30, 2022

Building Skill Through Play: Successful Game Participation ›

At Playworks, games are integral to what we do and in order to have a successful game, you need student engagement and participation. This November, our teams leaned into the skill of successful game participation, recognizing that game participation is about uplifting fun for all participants, not just individuals or game winners. For young learners,…

August 29, 2022

Playworks Illinois 2021-2022 Impact Report ›

For the last 10 years, Playworks Illinois has given kids foundational skills for success on the playground, in the classroom, and in the community. We are the leading organization that leverages play to promote healthy behaviors and increase social and emotional learning, at recess and throughout the school day. Last school year alone, Playworks Illinois…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…