Children who practice pretending are better at thinking about different possibilities. When children have room to play with a question or idea, it makes them more likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution. That's why we integrate play throughout the day. Your child has time for free play, to make up a new game on the playground, and structured play, to build paper boats in different shapes to see which one floats. In the upper grades, your child applies their practiced ability to play in new, more sophisticated ways. Her experience in creating new solutions inspires her to design a green roof for a school building; he uses his capacity for make-believe to write a short novel that is reviewed by his peers; her experience negotiating playground challenges supports her 8th grade business plan for a not-for-profit focused on conflict resolution.