Play time isn’t just fun, but crucial. “The State of Play in America” is a new report explaining how crucial “play” is for growing kids.
It’s not uncommon for parents to think of play time as something fun or a way to distract their kids for a while. While that’s not incorrect, it’s also very important for kids’ play time. Recently, it seems that parent’s don’t know about the value of play time.
The new report of “The State of Play in America” reveals that, “through play, children develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills they will use throughout life,” says parenting journalist Dana Points. “Parents need to recognize how crucial play is – and how they can help their children learn, explore, create, and evolve through play.”
This report suggests that parents are spending too much time overscheduling their kids and don’t think of play time as anything but “empty time”.
Here are some things that parents have to learn about play time:
- There isn’t a “right” way to play. Play time is different for every child and it doesn’t always have to be structured.
- Playing is a strategy for learning. Structured programs to learn a certain skill can be beneficial but so is relaxed playing. Pressure on kids to learn new skills can have a negative effect on emotional, social, and skill-based learning skills kid develop when they play.
- Recess isn’t wasted time. Recess can help kids with eventual learning. Studies have shown that children can be more attentive after recess.
- Playing is safe. Parents are of course worried about their children’s safety. However, studies show that kids are safer than they ever had been. Kids need their space and to have their judgement be trusted. This teaches them independence and confidence, a crucial skill later in life.
- Tech play can be educational but parents should take control. Computer games can be great but set limits, and remember to set an example with responsible tech usage.
- Let kids lead the play. Don’t steer them into a specific kind of play. Let them interact on their own terms and make their own decisions.
Do you have rules about time to play for your kids?