More play?

There has been a lot of interesting research done on children and learning. And the bulk of it comes down to this: Kids need more play. Kids learn through play, so they need more play.

I totally believe in play. People might not think so, since I’m always posting lessons and experiments. But we do a lot of play at the house. Some of it is organized play (board games, Lego building contests, block building contests, science experiments…….) and some of it is unstructured play (as in I tell them to go play).

We also have unstructured play in nature. We head to the beach and I let my kids play all they want there. We go hiking, and we always stop for “snack” in a convenient location that lets them play around. We also head to museums that have play areas and I let them play. Or playgrounds…..or the front yard……..

I think you catch the drift.

Kids can get over-scheduled. When that happens they lose their time for play. It’s important to have enrichment activities, and equally important to have play activities. So how do you balance them?

It’s a very personal decision. Sometimes it means we do bare minimum work and have a play day. Sometimes it means we do equal play and work in a day – it just depends. I can tell when the kids aren’t getting enough play because I start to feel it too. But when they are getting enough play, it’s more fun! First of all, they don’t like coming in from play. But if they are getting enough play, I can use it as a bribe in order to get other things done. “Finish your writing work and we can go play,” is very commonly heard around my house. It’s fun to play, the kids want to do it, so they do their work before hand and then we go play. If we aren’t getting enough play, then we don’t have an easy time doing work.

Here’s the links to two articles I really like on the need for play.

Article 1

Article 2

 

 

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