It’s a short post, but PLEASE read this and understand just how important the concept of play truly is, and do something, anything to honor it -
An important 2008 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics helped American parents take play seriously. It begins:
Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child. This birthright is challenged by forces including child labor and exploitation practices, war and neighborhood violence, and the limited resources available to children living in poverty. However, even those children who are fortunate enough to have abundant available resources and who live in relative peace may not be receiving the full benefits of play. Many of these children are being raised in an increasingly hurried and pressured style that may limit the protective benefits they would gain from child-driven play. Because every child deserves the opportunity to develop to their unique potential, child advocates must consider all factors that interfere with optimal development and press for circumstances that allow each child to fully reap the advantages associated with play. (1) .
The most powerful statement in the whole paragraph is that PLAY is considered a human RIGHT for every child! Read it again – a human right. A blog, a post, an article isn’t enough to cover the benefits that play offers kids of all ages (and adults). The impact on learning, biomotor quality development, emotional intelligence, IQ, brain and neural development, human interaction (including creativity, problem solving, conflict resolution, boundaries and consequences, etc…) and general lifelong health and wellness is immeasurable. Study after study proves it. And oh by the way…ITS FUN! In a hard, over-structured and highly scheduled world, its exactly what the doctor ordered for our children (and ourselves), not more stress, more scheduling and more structured activity.
Please continue to support play and the knowledge that reaches FAR beyond frivolous activity/use of time, and feel free to share some play ideas below. Great ideas are wasted when they aren’t shared.
September 24, 2011 is National Play Day – make it a point to go have some fun!
Here’s a link to a great article on the benefits play:
If you want to learn more from some of the best minds in the country relative to youth and fitness/play, I encourage you to use the IYCA.org and Dr. Kwame Brown and his Move Theory as starting point resources. You can also use a playground, ball, dance floor or just move when all else fails :).