It may surprise you to learn that children who don’t play enough are more likely to do worse in school. Focusing too much on homework without adequate rest can actually lead to lower grades.
It’s important to encourage play time and help your kids find a balanced approach to life.
Use these strategies:
1. Build playtime into the day. Today’s children can be overscheduled to the maximum. They have school, ballet, tutoring, sports, and other activities that keep them busy. However, they also need play time and the chance to be kids.
- Instead of scheduling every minute of your child’s day with enriching activities, build time into the day for them to play freely.
- Playtime that isn’t structured or regulated is important for a child’s development.
- Children need the ability to rest and unwind as much as adults. Playtime lets them explore their imaginations and step away from the difficulties of school.
2. Let children play outside. Children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to have allergies and asthma. So outdoor play can help them stay healthy.
- By playing outside, children don’t have to worry about making a mess or ruining the dining room carpet. They have more freedom outdoors and can use their imagination to build new ideas.
- Spending more time outdoors also helps children develop their curiosity.
- Improvisation and spontaneity can develop at higher levels in children who spend more time playing outside.
3. Put away the electronic games. Although your children can play with electronic games once in a while, it’s important that they also play with other toys. They learn to use their skills and abilities in different ways.
4. Supervise without interfering. One of the most difficult things for parents to do is to supervise playtime without interfering, giving suggestions, or making comments.
- You can watch your children, but avoid telling them how to play unless they specifically ask for your help. You don’t need to demonstrate how to play with a doll or how to build a fort. Allow your children to benefit from the process of learning to play.
- If you interfere with their playtime, children may become afraid to play on their own and scared to play differently from the way you show.
5. Allow your child to play alone. Let your children find ways to entertain themselves.
- Children can benefit from a balance of playing with friends and playing alone.
- They can also spend time alone instead of with their brothers and sisters.
- Alone time gives children the chance to think and develop without interruptions.
- It can encourage their imaginations and planning systems. They’ll be forced to figure out ways to entertain themselves without the help of others.
Playtime is a crucial part of a healthy childhood. Your kids can benefit from having playtime included in their daily schedule.
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