The back-to-school season is in full swing. Teachers to meet. Back-to-school nights to attend. Homework to complete. Extracurricular activities to schedule. Giving advice to parents to do just one more thing during this busy season seems to be a bit untimely. So what can you do?
Turn the phone off. Shut down the computer. Forget about the to-do list. Go outside. Get down on the floor. Go play.
Play is how children learn. It’s how they grow. Play gives parents an opportunity to reconnect and fully engage with their child after the busyness of a school day. Play is not just important, it’s essential to the social, emotional, cognitive, language & physical development of children. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “It could be argued that active play is so central to child development that it should be included in the very definition of childhood.”
One of my favorite definitions of play comes from Dr. Stuart Brown, a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical researcher & founder of the National Institute for Play. Dr. Brown identifies play as “time spent without purpose.” Play is about the experience, not accomplishing a goal or completing a task. It’s about losing track of time. Play is about the joy & connection it creates between adults & children.
So today, go lose track of time. Spend some time doing nothing with your child. Go play.
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