This is a great read on play and its role in a child's brain development.
"Did you know that more than just about any other activity, play is what promotes the healthy development of your child!
The most important thing to remember about play is that it should be pleasurable. That means that if your child is having fun, then you are doing it right! Play can use the mind, body or even props. It engages the imagination and exercises the muscles, and it also allows our children to practice new skills.
All children are curious beings. They like to explore and play, and these behaviours usually come quite naturally to them. Play that allows for exploration provides a sense of discovery and learning. This discovery and learning are actually a valuable source of pleasure to the child. They find exploring and learning fun..."