Play is an essential part of child growth and development. in fact, play is so important, it has been recognized by UN Human Rights commission as the right of every child.
Unfortunately the amount of time children spend playing has gone down over the past few years. According to the AAP play time has been reduced by schools due to increased pressure about academics. Parents have also begun focusing more on children's academics as opposed to play.
Play plays such an essential part in child development since play allows children to develop their creativity while improving their imagination, physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Children build confidence through play, learn to explore the world and improve their social skills with group play.
What happens when play time is reduced? Children are showing increased stress and anxiety. Cheating in school and the pressure to always be the "best" at all times are attributed to decreased play time.
Following are some recommendations by the AAP to help find the right balance of academics and play:
provide ample free time children can use for play
spend unscheduled unstructured time with kids
buy your children toys that encourage open ended play such as blocks or dolls
Remember that play is a cherished and vital part of childhood. So lets play today!!