It is so important for kids to have unstructured, free play time. In these days of schedules, routines, and many demands and responsibilities, it is increasingly important for children to be allowed to just play.
See the following reasons why KIDS NEED PLAY .
1. According to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children.” Play is necessary in order to help children develop social skills, because they learn to get along with others, take turns, and much more. Play helps children gain healthy emotional development because it allows them to express their conscious and unconscious experiences regarding their feelings about their life and things that are going on around them.
2. Play is important to a child’s neurological development. By playing, children are promoting healthy brain development because they are strengthening many neuronal connections that would otherwise disappear or weaken if not used.
3. United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognized play as a right of every child because of its importance to optimal child development.
4. Public schools throughout the United States continue to reduce the amount of time allotted to free play. For example, in response to No Child Left Behind, many schools increased their focus on reading and math by decreasing the amount of time allocated to recess and the creative arts. Ironically, play helps children adjust to school and improves their readiness to learn. When children are allowed to play without being told what they specifically have to do, they become more focused, have greater attention spans, and improve their academic skills.
5. Overscheduled family lifestyles often lead to less time for quality parent-child interaction and child-driven play. Many families would benefit from less hurried routines that allow for unstructured play. Family life and child behavior problems can improve when more child-led playtime is allowed on a frequent basis. When parents play with their children in a way that allows the child to decide what they are going to do and with the parent simply being with the child and interacting with them at the child’s level, parent-child relationships and family life can improve.