Saturday, April 18, 2009

Seven Reasons Why Kids Need to Play

After reading an article from Scientific American (full article found here), I found some interesting facts about free time play:

1. Play time cultivates imagination. Without rules, kids can respond more creatively.

2. Playing helps develop social skills, encouraging negotiation, communication, and flexibility.

3. Kids are losing free play time to more structured activities like musical and sporting events.

4. Play is critical to emotional health, relieving stress.

5. Playing makes kids smarter!

6. Here's a shocker: fighting (in a playful way) enhances problem solving abilities! I'll think twice before breaking it up next time.

7. Play is good for everyone! Kids get all the benefits listed above and you get free time as well. Research suggests that kids benefit more from playing with other children than with adults, using more words to describe the imagined game (adults tend to speak for them). So don't feel guilty sending them off to play!

“Curiosity, imagination and creativity are like muscles: if you don’t use them, you lose them.”
- David Elkind (Tufts University child development expert, quoted in The Serious Need for Play)

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