3 FUTURE BENEFITS OF PLAYTIME WITH YOUR KIDS
Monday 01 February 2021
Playtime has a fundamental role in children’s cognitive and behavioural development, according to a large body of research. Here are three meaningful benefits of regularly engaging our kids in playtime at home.
Free play may help reduce future mental health struggles
Critical life-coping skills often develop during unstructured playtime, or playing without specific direction, according to Peter Gray, professor of psychology at Boston University. For example, playing in the garden or at the neighbourhood park helps children develop relevant social skills and problem-solving abilities, such as taking turns on the swings or establishing rules of a game. Gray argues that “children today are less free than they have ever been” and it is taking a psychological toll, urging parents to promote less screen time and more free playtime.
Outdoor play encourages respect for nature
According to a Harvard Health publication, people who were unable to experience nature in their childhood may never fully appreciate the environment and fail to understand what there is to be lost. The earth’s future depends on the consciousness of the next generation, and encouraging our children to embrace the outdoors brings positive change now and for tomorrow.
They will be better candidates for their future jobs
Helping our children play more “will equip them to be relevant to the workplace and to society,” says John Goodwin, CEO of the Lego Foundation. Simple acts of dressing up like a superhero or playing make believe games help children develop imagination, creativity and emotional intelligence, says a Harvard University study. This development encourages children’s self-discovery and equips them with valuable skills for a rapidly changing workforce.