"Children are not born knowing about the world in which they will live. It is only through playful contact with that world that they create the learning experiences that allow them to make this world their own. In so doing, they not only develop new concepts, but also facilitate mental growth."
These insights are provided by David Elkind in his article, "The Values of Play,"
"Because play is the dominant drive during early childhood, most learning during this age period is self directed. No one teaches the child to crawl, turn over, stand up, and walk. No one teaches the infant to babble all the sounds of all possible languages or how to put words together. We may model this, but it is the child who decides to follow that model."