It’s back to school time for our kids! Summer is over and it’s time to get back to studying, sports and after-school activities. With the extra activities and busy schedules that come with this time of year, are your kids getting any down time to just play?
Do your kids get recess in school? Do they get time to play outside at home? I’m not talking about practicing their instruments or their sport, I mean totally unstructured running around the yard or the neighborhood, conquering the monkey bars, building Legos kinda fun.
I’m not talking about practicing their instruments or their sport, I mean totally unstructured running around the yard, conquering the monkey bars, building Lego’s kinda fun.
The truth is, our kids are overscheduled and overstimulated with technology and the pressure of academic expectations. Schools are getting rid of recess and other extracurricular activities due to budget cuts. But what those administrators don’t realize is they are taking something valuable away from kids.
The CDC says kids should get at least one hour of physical activity per day. Do your kids get that?
So why is play so important?
- Play contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.
- It allows you to connect with your child and spend quality time together.
- Play gives kids a chance to use their creativity!
- It lets kids be active!
The International Play
- 96% of the parents surveyed agreed that play outside of the classroom enhances learning that occurs in school.
- 81% also said that the American education system is lacking in that it does not encourage enough play time.
- Only 24% of parents say their child plays every day.
- Even though the parents said that their child enjoys outdoor play, they are mostly playing indoors.
While there has been progress in making recess and play a priority again, we still have a long way to go. So if your child can’t get that free play time at school, make sure that they have time for it at home.
So How Do We Get Kids To Just Play Again?
Most of us didn’t grow up with technology like kids have now. We didn’t have that distraction growing up. Many of us were told to “come home when the streetlights come on” and we would have rather spent an entire day outside than watching TV or using the computer. It’s a different generation, but it doesn’t mean these old-school ideas won’t work.
- Take away the devices and tell your kids to get out of the house (age permitting of course:). Discuss boundaries and curfews with them and let them go play.
- For younger kids, give them pots and pans, Legos, cardboard, whatever else you can think of (that isn’t a device) that lets them use their imagination.
- Head out to the park! It’s a great way to meet others in your community and it lets your kids get lots of physical activity.
What is your child’s favorite thing to do outdoors? How much play time do they get each day? Share in the comments or join me on Facebook to continue the discussion!