FREE PLAY AND CHILDHOOD GO HAND IN HAND
Tag: ToddlersPlaying | HappyPreschool | DaycareFun | KindergartenFun | March 2022
The first few years of a child’s life, free play will play a big part in their growth.
Simple unstructured play is so important to optimal child development that it’s been recognized by the United Nations as a basic right of every child. Children need to use their imaginations and enjoy physical activity rather than being coached on a team or organized into groups for greater emphasis on academic preparation. The lack of play can affect emotional development, leading to the rise of anxiety, depression, and problems of attention and self-control.
Unfortunately, there are so many reasons children have less free time to play, parents working, structured school days, sports activities, screen time and the list goes on. Children often find themselves too tired to play after a full day of scheduled activities.
Allowing outdoor play or a fun playdate with a friend has enormous benefits for children. When you give them the space to play they will. Research shows that young people don’t acquire the necessary social and emotional self control skills for healthy development.
Free play could:
Enhance children's abilities to explore the world around them
Develop their imaginations and creativity skills.
Help their learning readiness
Encourage decision making skills
Teach them to be comfortable working in groups
Help them to resolve conflicts on their own
Free play is also a healthy benefit for the children’s muscle development, running, jumping, climbing and having fun while they’re exercising. There has been extensive research done into the decline in outdoor play and the increase in obesity in children.
Keep in mind that allowing children to get together and have unstructured, free play, should always be under the supervision of an adult, especially if they are playing outside.
Here are just a few examples of free, unstructured play:
Let them play with a ball outside
Put out a few dolls, cars, blocks
Set out a table of paints, crayons, paper
Old clothes to play dress up
A sandpit is always a win
Remember, spending down time counts for a lot with your little ones. Reading together, talking together, cooking together, decorating cookies, all these unstructured moments allow for relaxation and growth.
Take a deep breath and enjoy your little ones for a few moments every day.
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