Like most parents, we want the best for out children. We want to prepare them with all the tools and skills to become successful adults. Whats more is we want to give them an edge to make them more productive, more successful then their peers. So they can win that coveted award, land that perfect job, be a pro-athlete or performer. That I think is what drives us to over schedule our children. Even now I admit I’m fighting the urge to book up my childrens summer with classes and lessons. I feel an intense need to “make the best use or their time.” When really the best use of there time is to let them be a kids and just play.
According to Gwen Dewar, PH.D from an article in parentingscience.com, some of the many benefits of childhood play include improved memory, better attention span and better language and problem solving ability.
Also, when a child plays they act out possible real life situations. For example, when my daughter plays teacher in a classroom, or acts out a stage performance.
Play has also been shown to benefit adults. Play is one of the ways we connect with our children, and other adults. (Think of the last time your family played a board game together.) We can discover more about our friends and family thru play.
More recently, there has been a strong resurgence in coloring. Adult coloring books are now being sold and many say
it is a relaxing, fun way to relieve stress. For printable coloring pages click here.
So the next time I feel the urge to structure and over schedule my children’s time, I must remember all the benefits to just letting them play.Plus it’s fun!