The Benefits of Free Play for Kids
Parents, we know you’re busy! Balancing work, family, friends, and your everyday responsibilities all while worrying about keeping your children busy is not an easy task.
Nowadays, it is not entirely uncommon to see a child of any age using an iPad or iPhone as a source of entertainment. While these forms of technology can be beneficial and serve as educational tools, it is absolutely crucial that children engage in activities that stimulate creativity.
Playing on a little league baseball team or completing a puzzle is great so that kids can learn to work in a team and develop problem solving skills, however, the most important type of play for children is free play.
Free play, also referred to as unstructured play, simply means letting kids be kids. Rather than giving your child instructions on how to play with their toys, try giving them crayons, chalk, building blocks, cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and anything else that they could use to create something. Play is extremely important for child development, so much so that the United Nations has recognized it as a basic right of every child.
There has been scientific research done on the effects of play on children, and the evidence shows that it is of great importance. Sergio Pellis, Ph.D., an expert on the neuroscience of play has noted that play changes the structure of the developing brain in important ways. Just thirty minutes of play has been proven to activate the entire neocortex. The neocortex is the area of the brain used for higher functions such as thinking, language, and spatial reasoning.
In addition, play teaches children to have positive interactions with others. When children free play with others, it allows them to develop better problem solving skills, and work together in a team. Play also helps to get children active, which is extremely important when they spend large amounts of time with electronic devices.
If you work full or part time, need to go out of town, or need a few hours to get some errands done, you may be looking to hire either part time or full time help. Here at Hometown Nannies, our candidates are creative and intelligent individuals. Many of our candidates have educational backgrounds in child development, so while you’re out of the house, you can be confident that your child care provider will be engaging your child in the right type of play for their specific developmental needs.