“It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.” –Tina Bruce, Professor, London Metropolitan University
Photo Credit: emilyonsunday
This year as you send the kids off to school, take a moment to think about their days. Their weeks. Is there enough time for play? Not sports, or after-school activities, but real honest-to-goodness play? Child-directed, child-driven free play — no rules unless they decide to cook some up.
You see, adults have this habit of thinking that soccer or gymnastics or even music lessons are play. But they’re not. They ‘re great, but they are goal driven and adult directed, which is exactly what school is. Children spend all day in school. They need to take a break and be put in the driver’s seat for awhile.
Free play is when children are in the driver’s seat. Kids need to use their outside voices, to not care about getting something right or wrong, to make things up and mess things up. Simply put, they need time to be kids and goof off without us adults telling them what to do. So this year , make an effort to make room for play.
If your child has little to no down time between school and activities, strongly consider taking an activity or two off the table and give them some wiggle room to be kids. Helping children find balance in their lives will help them in so many ways, including learning readiness.
As an added bonus, you’ll spend less time as a taxi driver and juggling a crazy calendar, and have more time to play yourself. After all, play is important for everyone – adults included!
Another great trick for saving time and making more room for play in your life is using Shout© Color Catchers. You can mix colors without fear, and save yourself time in the laundry room. I don’t know about you, but I will take every spare minute I can find!
Cheers to all the kids, parents and caregivers out there. Happy new school year! May in be filled with the love of learning, laughter and lots of play.
See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru