In this world of hectic schedules and fast paced living, our children do not even have time to play as were the case when we were young. Today’s child has a very focused academic schedule and most after-school activities revolve around their academic achievements or structured extracurricular activities. Our children have very little time left to just play and just be kids.
Researches have suggested that unscheduled play time is not only healthy, but also helps our kids become functional members of society by teaching them to connect with others in a group dynamic. It also helps in the emotional and cognitive development of our children. It has also been found that unstructured play times assists the child with stress management and teaches them to be self reliant.
It has also been found that a child’s value system and character is not the result of his or her academic achievements, but rather as a result of the influence of their parents. This involves the parents interaction with the child during these “free” play times and also the expression of love towards the child. There is however a few things in the opinion of Helene Goldnadel, parents can do to help their children.
- We must ensure that our child’s academic schedule is appropriate for his or her stage of development. This means that we have to assist them but more importantly, help them maintain a balance.
- We must also ensure that we buy them toys that will stimulate creative thought, as well as some kind of physical activity. We should encourage them to play less computer and video games.
The introduction of unscheduled play time is therefore a very important part of child development. It allows the child to become creative and to discover his or her surroundings, thus learning and discovering new and exciting things. Remember that experience cannot be learned from a book it comes from actually living life.