How and why do children play? What does such activity means in different cultures? These issues are discussed in this present paper, which stresses its relevance for the scientific understanding of child development. The concept of play according to different theorists is analyzed; especially those that conceive play as socially constructed activity. It is verified the role of pretend-play as an activity of representation and metarepresentation along child development. Finally on discusse how such theoretical ideas can be translated into educational practices within the contexts of child care and preschool settings, stressing the role of teacher in promoting child development and education.
Play; Sociocultural Approach; Child Development; Early Childhood Education