The importance of play is underestimated in the development of children. Play has been reduced to a break in the day to get all the pent up energy out so children will behave the rest of the day, however, it holds far greater use. The research has been in for some time that it carries far more weight than that. One longitudinal study showed that the early integration of play and education in children’s lives resulted in multiple areas of impact: 44% increases in high school completion, 17% increase in bachelor degree completion, and 42% increase in annual earnings! But how can play create such astonishing numbers? The research indicated that the strongest indicators of long-term success were skills that could not be taught in the classroom, but were best learned through play like social skills, problem-solving, self-control, and creative thinking. These soft skills, coupled with education, produce well-rounded and productive members of the community. In addition, they foster emotional, sociological and physical health that gets passed on to the next generation. Playgrounds provide a sense of security and yet allow any child complete freedom, of imagination as well as physical freedom. Playgrounds are one of the few places open to children that are not limited by income-rich and poor kids can all meet, play, and learn from one another without adult interference in the playground setting. Play is not limited to playgrounds. Free play has an important role to a child’s emotional growth, and research has pointed to three areas where play helps children develop emotionally: building self-confidence and esteem; experimenting with various emotions and releasing emotions from trauma. This is just part of why we do what we do here at Kids Around the World