“To a child playing is learning.” ∼ MitchRyan
Play is one of the most important factors for normal developmental growth in any child. It is a child’s world, as a matter of fact it could be the only world for them. In this world a child learns to solve problems, venue for their creative minds, and learn things around them like color, shapes, learn to do things like grasp, crawl, balance, and understand the concept of cooperation, negotiation, and give and take. These in effect lead to the development of more sophisticated cognitive, affective, and psychomotor tasks along the way.
Modern times, however, has curtailed child’s play time to almost nothing. Our lifestyle is so structured towards getting things done that 24 hours is not enough. People are busy making a living leaving no moments for play, and relaxation. Why is this? It’s because doing so is a waste of time. It seems like these days are all about competition, profit, and innovation. Although these are excellent goals, these on the other are all result oriented. Hence the process leading to the result is given the least priority which thwarts a child’s normal developmental growth. As parents if we want to see our children grow to become great individuals who have achieved their fullest potential then we must start looking into the process of making great individuals.
Now, here are practices which I think put child’s play time to a minimum.
- Kids taking up too many after school classes and/or lessons on the weekends
- Too much screen time
- Obsession on having high scores (mostly parents)
- Class ranking and competition especially during the early years
- Early school years inappropriate curriculum. For example, some schools give emphasis on writing and listening, thus, the series of writing books, long hours of sitting. Kids are reprimanded for not holding pens properly and are branded having ADHD because they could not sit for long hours.
- Too many homework
Reality bites! The degree may vary from one culture to the other but sadly these are true. These and many other practices run havoc on our child’s play time which, to reiterate, is one sure process for children to engage in a meaningful learning, develop social and affective skills. Play should be treated as a form of lifestyle for children.
Playing is a child’s lifestyle.∼ MitchRyan
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