Humorous Quick Reads About Families With Kids

Good Playtime Equals Good Mental Health

Published February 13, 2020 in Parenting - 1 Comment
Free Playtime Is Linked to Greater Joy in Children

Free Playtime Is Linked to Greater Joy in Children

Kid’s Free Playtime Encourages Creativity ~

Playtime for kids used to mean playing in the mud and digging holes in the backyard with a spoon. Fortunate children lived near woods or an empty field. Either of these provided space and materials for building a fort or just playing with sticks.

Bad weather just meant indoor playtime. Inside a child could spend her day building castles in the toy room with wooden blocks or imagining a story for her dolls. No harm in those activities, other than to Mom’s flatware, but they also had great benefits for the child.

Left to their own devices, meaning not electronic ones, kids will create their own fun. This creative playtime helps the child to make sense of the world and attain a feeling of control over their own lives.

Adult Organized Time Means Less Free Choice

In contrast, kids now have long days at school followed by tutoring or organized sports. Activities where children are judged by their grades or the number on the scoreboard can leave them feeling out of control in their lives.

Playing With Electronics Can Cause Stress Too

Often the structured pursuits are interspersed with time on social media where kids are striving to meet the expectations of the cool kids. Not having pictures of fun activities to share or not getting likes for their posts can make kids feel more isolated than if they were just enjoying playtime alone.

Make Time Available For Free Play

Help your children develop a sense of self that is separate from their grades, the scoreboard, and social media. Plan stay-at-home days that allow time for free play. Keep craft supplies in the house for unstructured creating. Take your kids to the library and encourage them to explore and check out books in their interest areas.

Read statistics about how children’s depression and anxiety has increased since the 1960s in the article that inspired this post. The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders

See Nikki’s other article about enriching kids’ activities: Adulting 101 – Who Knew It Included Baking Cookies?

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