In today’s times when parents are very much concerned about over all development and even schools offer a holistic approach, structured activities have somehow replaced unstructured or free play for children. Ask parents if their child gets to play, most of them have the excuse of no time available due to study or structured play where kids learn sports like skating, badminton, tennis and more.
Even traditional preschools and kindergartens are into more of structured activities or play and more of indoor ones that too. But a recent study carried out at San Diego State University by Jean Twenge has revealed that there has been a rise in the rates of depression and anxiety in children during the past half a decade. This is due to the lack of unstructured play as well as recreation in kids. The almost wipe away of unstructured play in schools as well as hope has led to children scoring well in exams but increasing levels of anxiety.
Free play forms and integral part of child development. It allows them to explore their own interests and develop them and decreasing social disorders or depression. So how do you use the available time for play that’s not only fun but relaxing and beneficial too? Here are few tips.
Play is Fun – Don’t treat unstructured play very seriously like you do for study or structured play even though it is important to include it in daily activities of your child. Let the time just flow by its own and allow your child to take charge of the same and have a good time playing.
Praise honestly and frequently – Children need some boosting every now and then. It’s motivates them to make new friends, play and try new things too.
Use creative toys – While playing make sure you provide a generous supply of brushes, paints, crayons, clay and more to your kids so they can explore, engage and have a great time.
Do not pressurize - Forcing children in situations they aren’t comfortable with is not a good idea so while into play just let them be and supervise them.
Music and play – Music inspires your imaginative and creative thinking so when playing you might as well play the favorite album of children or let them decide what they want to play.
*Sourced from Internet