Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

[Framed]

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

[Boxedwidth]

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

No

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

The Importance of Play - #ShapedByPlay



It seems that kids in today’s world rarely have “free” time. When they’re not in school, they’re involved in sports and clubs. They’re committed to their churches and with other organizations. Perhaps they have lessons and volunteering on their calendars, too. How often do they have unscheduled time to…do nothing? And when they have a moment of free time, how many kids turn to mindless entertainment, like TV, video games or a tablet? When’s the last time your child actually played on a playground? Many of us parents over-plan how our children use their time, but we are actually doing them a disservice. More and more research exalts the importance of play, and with good reason. Lack of play can lead to anxiety, depression, and even pressure to be their best at all times. Here are some key points to remember, and some ideas for getting your kids really playing again.


Play is critical to development. Have you ever heard the saying, “Play is a child’s work?” It’s even been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. It contributes to their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional well-being. Unscheduled free time allows kids to use creativity and imagination to engage with the world around them, to practice adult roles and conquer fears, and to build confidence and resiliency. Child-driven play also lets kids figure out for themselves what they’re really interested in and passionate about. Active play could also be the key in tackling the youth obesity epidemic.

Play teaches children how to function in society. Free play time allows kids to figure out how to work together in groups. They learn how to cooperate and share, how to negotiate and resolve problems, and how to stand up for themselves. It’s through the microcosm of play that kids learn how to navigate real world social situations that they’ll encounter the rest of their lives.


Play brings parents and children closer together. Parents fully engage with their kids when they play with them, one-on-one. They can learn a lot about how their children think, and what may be weighing on their little minds. But, it’s important that they allow this unstructured time to be controlled by the child. In this way, adults don’t stifle children’s creativity with rules, and they develop leadership skills in the process.

While hurried lifestyles, instability in the home, and increased attention paid to academics and other activities are all to blame for less play time, simple changes can make a big difference. (If possible, consider getting involved with your child’s school to advocate for recess if it’s been taken out of the schedule. Create a petition or join the PTA.)



  • Take your child to the park more often. Playgrounds in particular allow kids to develop leadership and teamwork skills. Not to mention that they serve as a place (independent of school, church or any other obligations) for kids to develop social relationships on their own.
  • Supply your child with toys that take a little imagination, like a tent, blocks, magnets, dress-up clothes, dolls and art supplies. Even tea sets, kitchen sets, gardening toys and cars allow kids to be creative.
  • Encourage active play, and limit video games, TV time and tablet use. Model this play by getting them started. Pull out all of the originals: Red Light Green Light, Capture the Flag, Simon Says and even plain, old tag! Keep bubbles, side walk chalk and balls on hand, too. When possible, take these activities to the park to combine active play with social play.


  • Give kids unscheduled free time to be creative and decompress. Consider blocking it out on the calendar. Maybe for the first hour after they get home from school, they don’t have to do anything at all (and also aren’t allowed screen time for this hour). It may even be smart to take them straight from school to a park with a playground.  Make it a routine. Pack snacks and allow them this “forced free time” to blow off some steam.
  • Play with your kids. Get involved, even if you only have 15 minutes a day.

This heartwarming video, "For a Better Tomorrow, We Play Today", by global playground manufacturer Landscape Structures, shows what our future can be like, as our kids play and develop the necessary skills that they need to shape their adult lives, all on the playground. When I watch Madison play on a Landscape Structure playground, I see her strength and her love for others as she builds social relationships. I see her as a future leader when she takes the lead and I also see her being part of a team. It's why I value the importance of play and so should you.


What do you see as you watch your own kids play on the playground? 


To find your local Landscape Structures playground and to connect visit:



Annmarie John
46 Comments
Share :

46 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes!!! It is SOOOO important for kids to get off those screens and get out and PLAY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, my boys were starting to jump on their video games when they get in the house and while it's ok at times, when the weather is bad outside, when we have great weather like we've been having lately, GO OUTSIDE and PLAY!

      Delete
  2. You are spot on. As a former preschool teacher I can report that we sometimes had to teach children how to play; they were so used to structured activity and electronics. Play is a child's work. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I was a kid, video games were not yet the thing. So we had the whole outdoors and great neighborhood kids to play with. I also let my kids be kids - explore, get dirty, be creative, and engage in outdoor play and sports. This is the best way to teach a child social skills and develop their personality.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely agree!Especially as they grow up, its challenging to find ways to keep them active as the schoolwork gets more and more demanding!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a great believer in the power of play-time!!! The more time my daughter spends playing the better. Everything about playing is great. They learn so much while having fun, and the best thing is that they will remember the good time forever

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those are some good reminders to let kids get outside and play. I can tell you it does get harder as your kids get older to get them interested in non electronic play.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been encouraging my kids to get out and play since they were old enough to walk. It's so important for their health.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My youngest daughter has been quite an explorer since she was old enough to walk. I've never had to encourage her to play, and I'm glad about that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I encourage my daughter to play outside as much as possible. One of our favorite things to do as a family is ride our bikes to a nearby playground. She loves to make up obstacle courses for us to run, and I love seeing the joy on her face as we do them, together.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes! I totally agree. My kids are homeschooled but I just found out that several schools in our county got rid of recess. Parents are now fighting to get it back. I couldn't believe that someone with a brain actually thought it was okay to take away recess. Kids need to play. It's an important part of learning and essential for their develotheir.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We love taking my granddaughter to the park to play. She can't do all of the stuff there yet, but having free play is so important for development.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Some of my most favorite memories as a child were going to the playground with my dad. I'm so glad you reminded us all of this important free play activity and how valuable it is for kids!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Play is something we always make time for in my family. We always go outside after dinner to run around and be silly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Getting out and playing is so important. With technology taking over most kids would rather stay inside.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My kids love to climb, jump and run. But I love when they create sculptures or creative projects from things they find in the back yard.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Playground time is important for homeschool kids too! It time for both active play and spending free time with other kids, though usually my kids had a ton of activities.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Physical play is extremely important for children and I make sure mine get plenty of it. Most of the time I feel compelled to join them on the playground and embrace my own inner child for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Play is so important, as you have pointed out. I loved having playground duty when I taught, I loved watching them laugh and socialize and figure out things for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Play is truly important. I feel like kids don't get enough time outside anymore. They are cooped up in the house in-front of a TV screen with their video games. As a child I was always outside. 10am till the street lights came on. I wish it was still like this. These kids don't know what they're missing! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with you completely. Playing is equally important for kids. If we want our kids to nurture our child them we have to focus on overall development of them.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I could not agree more. I try to get my daughter to play at least 60 minutes a day. Inside or out.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I agree with all of these! Play is such an important part of every childhood! This is where they develop lots of skills, interests, creativity and makes great friends! Awesome post!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have always been a big advocate of giving kids free time and of course exercise. It is so difficult in this competitive and activity filled environment we all live in. Thanks for this simpler lifestyle tip.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This looks like a fantastic playground. I think it is so important for ids to have free play time. We like to get out to the great parks we have here in Ottawa.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yes, I agree with this! It is really important to have a play time. Allow kids to explore and enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is such an important post! Play is so so important for kids. I just attended a seminar about how we should get down and make an effort to play along with them!

    ReplyDelete
  27. These are great tips, especially the one about getting involved with playing with your kids and letting them run free. Kids already have to follow so many schedules and structures while in school, they need that time to be free! - Tatanisha

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love her hair - so vibrant. Playtime is so important for children - give them a chance to blow off some steam. xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. I agree! Playtime is really important for children - it lets them be themselves and it encourages learning too. It's also a good way to spend some fun family time!

    Belle | www.OneAwesomeMomma.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Playing was such an important part of my kid's growth! I totally agree with you. I remember doing a lot of playdates when she was younger.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love to see this! I worry that our kids have forgotten how to play. Us parents need to let them be kids and not worry as much.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I substitute taught at an elementary school and was in line to become an English teacher there. My experience there showed me I didn't want to deal with public schools lol I know it involves outside of school as well. However, play is so stinking important! They only let the kids have ONE 15-minute recess and were in the voting process of taking that away in order for them to add in more schoolwork. Heck no! I didn't support it because play is so important for cognitive development. Great article.

    ReplyDelete
  33. My toddler loves the playground. Problem is he loves to run away from me so we can only go when my husband can come with us.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm big on taking the kids to the playground. Even my teen likes to come along sometimes. There's a lot to be said for just getting to run loose and play. The bike/skateboard ramp is an awesome place to do that too, for my youngest.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I definitely agree! We try to make a conscious effort to add playtime that is outside of the house and computers because it is so important!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I can say my kiddo is an outdoor kid. Loves anything outdoors from bubbles, to parks, museums to soccer. It sure does help him in so many different ways.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I totally agree that playing is really essential on building the character of the kids. It teaches them how to get along with others, sportsmanship and physical activities. Kids these days settle for internet and gadgets.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My little one is such a climber! I can't wait till she's big enough for fun playgrounds like this!

    ReplyDelete
  39. My kids LOVED the playground when they were littles. We had a nice structure nearby and we would visit several times a week.

    ReplyDelete
  40. These are great, it's so true! Kids need to play and we should be playing with them (at least as often as we can!)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Kids definitely need to play. It's great for them to get exercise as well as to work their imagination. I can't stress enough the importance of play for kids.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am a huge proponent of play! I even transferred my kids from their preschool to one that was more play based!

    ReplyDelete
  43. My family and I enjoy going to the parks nearby. Not only it's good exercise, but it is also a wonderful to bond as a family!

    ReplyDelete
  44. It's so important for kids to just have that time to disengage and play. I love her hair! Such a pretty color!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Omg so much yes to this!!!! Makes me so mad that schools are taking more and more play away. Kids are the most creative when they play!

    ReplyDelete

[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

Follow @TheAnnMarieJohn