Free play is a tool for developing a child as a whole. We know from studies that Free Play is important for healthy brain development, allowing children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, cognitive and physical abilities.
Children need to explore, play, move, use their motor skills and interact with each other. Free play allows for children to practice and process what was learned in lessons and apply it to imaginary or real situations they recreate with classmates. Building with blocks, playing house, making phone calls and raising animals are all different expressions that we witness during Free Play. These activities most certainly reflect children's ability to pair what they have learned in school with what they have absorbed through experience.
Free Play helps the teachers too! Just given the opportunity to observe children playing freely gives them a better idea of what interests their students so they can better engage them. This helps them evaluate where there might be issues, subjects or skills that need to be discussed or developed further. This time allows teachers to connect with their students and promote a happy class. And if a happy class leads to a more productive class than Free Play has done it's job.