Did you know that the United Nations has recognized playtime as a basic right of each and every child? That's how important playtime is to the optimal development of children.
When you think of childhood, what comes to mind? Playtime.
But as it turns out, any number of children may not be enjoying enough free play! During free play or free playtime, children enjoy physical activity or use their imagination rather than watching electronics or being coached on a team. Where unstructured, simple play is present, many benefits can be enjoyed.
This is particularly true with children who are overscheduled. The emotional, social, physical, and cognitive well-being of a child is contributed to, and developed by, playtime. These days, however, so many kids are strictly scheduled or participate in structured activities, that very little time is left to simply play freely.
Why has free play decreased in the lives of children today? Several reasons include the following:
- Outdoor play spaces have limited access.
- The risk of playing environments perceived by many.
- Increased electronic screen time.
- No time to care for children because parents are working.
- Academic preparation has been emphasized over playtime.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
Why is free play so important? A Boston College psychology professor writes that "By natural selection, children are designed to play. If you leave a child to play freely, they will.” But as of late, there has been a decline in play opportunities for children. Consequently, there have been negative effects as a result.
The same psychology professor details in his writing how lacking free play has the following effects:
- Issues with self-control and attention
- A rise in anxiety
- Severe emotional developmental problems
When children are not allowed to play, they cannot develop/acquire the emotional and social skills needed for psychological development on a healthy level.
FREE PLAY HAS ITS PAYOFFS
So, according to experts, what are the benefits of free play? They are as follows:
- Helping children learn to resolve conflicts and share, it teaches kids to work in groups.
- Decision-making skills can be practiced by kids.
- It helps kids build their confidence and conquer their fears.
- Children can better adjust to school. Additionally, their problem-solving skills, learning behavior, and learning readiness are enhanced.
- With the world around them, it encourages kids to interact.
- Through it, kids are allowed to develop their dexterity and imagination, use their creativity, and put other individual strengths to good use.
Of course, the physical benefits cannot be ignored. Healthier bodies are built when kids engage in jumping, biking, running, etc. – all possible aspects of free play. Since obesity is a problem with at least 20% of American children, that's a significant benefit.
KIDPOWERED HAS THE TOYS YOUR CHILD WILL NEED FOR FREE PLAY
Kidpowered offers toys themed after occupations, specific people, animals, fantasy, and so much more. With both human and animal action figures, numerous types of vehicles, playsets, etc., how your child can develop and where they can travel to are only limited by their imagination.
Conveniently browse our selections online and see for yourself how much enjoyment a child can experience when playing with toys that encourage creativity and just plain fun!