Let Children Play
A famous psychologist once said “play is the work of children”. Play is very important for children’s development. From the moment they learn to reach out and explore their surroundings, play and exploration becomes integrated.
Play is also how children work around certain emotions like anxiety. A great example is Peek a boo. A toddler can spend hours playing Peek a boo with an adult with a blanket over his head. As he fears separations from a parent, this game just makes the fear go away. Toddlers often imitate their favourite hero when he feels powerless and small.
Play helps young children learn self control. A simple game like Simon Says at the daycare teaches them impulse control. Most board games teach organization, following rules and taking turns. Games played at the playground help kids with negotiating as rules at the playground change to fit situations every day.
As children grow older, free play starts to disappear and more structured play comes into practice. Video games and computer games replace imaginative play. At the daycare however, we try to encourage as much free play as possible.
The pressure of academic success sometimes leads parents to lessen play time. Parents often feel that their children will be at a disadvantage if their children do not start sports or other structured activities at a young age. Skating classes and soccer games have replaced uninhibited free play.
Specialists suggest that robbing children of free play has its consequences on growth and development. Experts believe that it is through childhood play that social and intellectual skills are developed at a later age. Children need free play to be able to learn the skills needed for success later in life. Free play, where the child is in charge. Once parents take charge, it becomes parent play.
Keep aside some time every day when your child can play freely. Create an environment in the backyard for him to have the space and opportunity to play.