Why Play on Family Day!

Happy Family Day to our Families Canada members in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan! Family Day is a great time to relax, play, and enjoy time with your family, whether at home, or outdoors with others.

This Family Day, we encourage all educators, parents, and family support service providers to find new ways to support children’s play as they play alone or with others. Play is learning and essential to childhood and healthy child development. Play is often called the ‘work’ of children, and is essential to children’s healthy development.

One way that Families Canada helps children get the right start in life is through our extensive catalogue of play resources, including the Why Play? series of pamphlets. Here are some ways that our pamphlets support children’s healthy development at various ages!   


Why Play? with Your Baby (0-12 months)

The Why Play? with Your Baby (0-12 months) pamphlet suggests science-based play activities for parents and caregivers to:  

  • Support their baby’s play 
  • Help their baby feel safe, and learn trust 
  • Support their baby’s healthy brain development 
  • Help their baby discover their surroundings  
  • Build a strong relationship with their baby 


Why Play? with Your Toddler (12-30 months) 

The Why Play? with Your Toddler (12-30 months) pamphlet suggests science-based play activities to:  

  • Learn to be more independent 
  • Learn to live with others 
  • Start communicating 
  • Learn to explore through play, and to feel safe 
  • Be ready to make new discoveries, and have fun 

Why Play? with Your Preschooler (30-60 months) 

The Why Play? with Your Preschooler (30-60 months) pamphlet suggests science-based play activities to:  

  • Help preschoolers learn to collaborate 
  • Help preschoolers learn to be independent 
  • Learn self-control and learn to communicate.  
  • Learn how to make friends  
  • Discover how good it feels to belong to a group 


Given all the benefits of play, we encourage more play this Family Day! If you are looking for play ideas and activities to suggest to parents and caregivers, check out our Why Play? Activity Cards. Each set of 24 double-sided cards offers a variety of simple and short activities to enjoy daily with young children. The Activity Cards come in four colors, and each color focuses on a skill competency to be fostered: autonomy, exploration, social skills, communication. One side of each card highlights the purpose of the activity, i.e., what targeted skills develop or improve because of this specific activity. The other side of the card describes the activity and the target age for that activity. 

All of the evidence-informed resources mentioned above were created in partnership with the Centre for Excellence on Early Childhood Development. These resources can be found in our online store, including all of our popular resources that families love! 


Happy Family Day!