Decades of research have demonstrated that play is more than just fun and games. Through play, children learn to interact with others, develop language skills, recognize and solve problems, and discover their potential. What can you do to help your child play?
- Reduce screen time. They may be bored at first…but you can make suggestions to inspire their creativity.
- Don’t overschedule them in adult-organized activities. This leaves little time for play.
- Get them outdoors to clean, rake, wash the car…it really does inspire play.
- Choose a toy that is 90% child, like wood, boxes, balls, dolls, and dirt/ sand. Let them create their own scenes to play in.
- Lobby for safe parks. Organize with other parents to monitor play areas.
- If your child receives care and education outside of your home, ask how much time your child gets outdoor play every day. Look at the outdoor facilities…is it shaded by trees in addition to canopies? Does it have access to water, mud, sand, grass, loose materials for building, knocking over, and pretend play? Is their plenty of space to run, climb, find secret hiding places and dream up dramas?
The benefits of play are so impressive that every day of childhood
should be a day for play.