It’s almost here — the end of the school year. Can you believe it?!
As summer approaches, so do longer hours of unscheduled time for many children. And while the temptation of structuring every moment is ever-present in today’s society, I would like to encourage you (well me, and pediatricians, child psychologists, and many other experts) to provide plenty of time for good old-fashioned, unstructured outdoor play. Allow for plenty of daily chances for children to be in the driver’s seat, making their own rules, and creating their own stories.
Resist the urge to over-schedule. Resist the urge to hover. Embrace mess and down-time. Let children explore and find their own way out of self-proclaimed boredom.
“Play not only affords children an early source of identity, but is full of useful information about yourself and the world around you,
for once not filtered through adult minds and eyes.” — Libby Brooks (Author)
Here’s the thing: Children have spent the last nine months very scheduled, buttoned-down, and zipped-up. They’ve been tested. They’ve sat. A LOT. And they have listened — to instructions directions, reprimands, and the word “NO”. So this summer, practice saying “Yes”.
“Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” – Stuart Brown, MD
The lovely Stacy Teet of Kids Stuff Worldsent me this video awhile ago and I have been meaning to share. Playmakers is a knockout — take a few minutes to watch this engaging video and rededicate yourself to helping save play in schools, backyards, parks, and homes across the country.
Want to learn more about the play? Read The Playwork Primer by my dear friend, the fabulous Penny Wilson. Penny is a playmaker to the Nth degree.
Get involved in the worldwide movement to save play. On Twitter? Look for the #playoutdoors, #play, #SavePlay, and #GoPlay hashtags to keep up with the conversation.
_________________ (Use your imagination and share in the comments section! What’s your #10?)
When September comes and the kids head back to school and the summer light starts to fade, you will have such fond memories of time spent in the pursuit of play — and making the most of this gorgeous planet that we call home.
Trust me — this fact will make you happy. The end.
Don’t miss out. Mother Nature has something great waiting for you…