How Important is it for Children to Have Time for Independent Play?

SnipBlog 90How many of us, as children, had hours of time to make things out of wood, toss a ball in the air and catch it over and over, pretend all sorts of adventures, climb trees, pick food out of a garden and eat it on the spot, or ride a little red wagon down what we thought was a really steep hill in the backyard? We learned to plan, to create, to enjoy small moments, what we were capable of doing, and what our limits were.  How many of our own children have lots of unstructured time to get to do these sorts of things? 

Schools are increasing the amount of testing and homework they require and they are reducing or elimination opportunities in art, music, woodshop, and some schools have even eliminated recess.  Many people have expressed concerns about the lack of physical exercise for children. The lack of mental stimulation for children in the form of free time for play and creative activities is also of concern. 

Peter Gray, a psychologist and research professor at Boston College wrote about how important it is for children to have time to play in his article, The Play Deficit.  It is a lengthy article, but well worth the time it takes to read it—and you just might decide to make some changes that will benefit your kids.

Read the article here: