Whether your child’s summer is centered around summer camps and activities, or you have the luxury of an old-fashioned, unscheduled summer, child development experts suggest that you include plenty of time for free play on the calendar.
Many schools have become focused on mastering functional skills like literacy and mathematical reasoning, which reduces the time available for the development of the social and emotional skills. Parents are often surprised to learn that play is so important for their kids, especially since schools today place so much importance on academics. Yet research shows that healthy play is central to developing problem solving skills, compassion, the ability to stay on task, and many other life skills.
Summer offers many opportunities to let children explore the world through play. Whether the child spends most days in camp or in child care or at home with a parent or caregiver, take a look at the portion of the day available for unstructured activity that gets filled at the discretion of the child. This is not about TV or computer time. Ideally, kids will get a ‘balanced diet’ of several types of play, including active physical play, arts and crafts activities, play with siblings and friends, family-centered fun, reading, outdoor time, and more.
Here are some tips for making summer more playful:
Provided By Susan J. Oliver, Tropomedia
This information is provided on behalf of the toy experts at your neighborhood toy store.