Just like human children (and human adults), many different animal species naturally engage in playful activities. These may include rough-housing, climbing, catching, rolling, sliding, blowing bubble rings, chasing, boxing, frolicking, pouncing, surfing, and so much more!
Why do animals play, especially those in the wild? The prevailing theory is that this activity serves as natural preparation – as young animals playfully interact with each other and their surroundings, they cultivate skills and attributes that are necessary for survival. They learn to hunt, fight, build strength, and react quickly.
However, many scientists have observed that play in the animal kingdom goes beyond just survival prep. They have noticed that some animals play simply for the fun of it, especially during times of peace and abundance. This holds true for human children as well; play acts as a dynamic, organic medley of life skill development, stress relief, and joy.
This infographic explores the play habits of twelve animals using adorable illustrations.
An infographic by AAA State of Play.