Play is not just about having fun. In essence, play provides natural opportunities for humans to build social skills and navigate the ups and downs of friendship. The engagement and connection that develops during play also buffers children against the downsides of stress. A clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that play is an essential element of growth for children of all ages. Additional research has shown that physical activity contributes to a sense of purpose and, likewise, a sense of purpose influences how likely we are to exercise.