So let the kids play already!

 

What’s so important about children’s free play? Why did we do our latest video on this topic?

 

The latest children’s issue we tackled at Senisi Multimedia is the decline of free playtime for children. Children’s time and opportunities to play are shrinking alarmingly at home and in school. Caught between parental anxiety about unsupervised outdoor play and school achievement pressures, kids are increasingly left sitting in front of the TV and computer or overscheduled in adult-run extra-curricular activities.

 

So what, exactly, is play? This is one definition that we unearthed while doing research for this project: Play is a set of behaviors that are freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated.

 

 Here are 4 reasons why open-ended playtime is absolutely essential for full and balanced human development:

 

1  Active physical play increases coordination and helps children develop important physical skills along with strength, agility, and endurance. (This is known in education lingo as psychomotor development.)

 

2  Children gain social and emotional maturity as they interact and learn to get along with each other in play. (otherwise known as affective development)

 

3  Play lays the groundwork for later academic success by giving children opportunities to use creative problem solving skills. Play also requires them to think conceptually, an essential component of successful learning. (that’s cognitive development)

 

4  Children develop competence in language as they articulate words and ideas both in social play and imaginative solitary play. (language development)

 

 

It’s not just “child’s play”! Check out kids learning and having fun in the serious business of play in our video, Free Play in Free Fall.  (Oh, and, by the way, video editing is a favorite form of play at Senisi Multimedia.) 

 

If our video did its job and got you interested in the topic of play, you can find out more about this issue from knowledgeable, activist advocates of free play. Check out the website of the group called the National Institute for Play (NIFPLAY). You might also want to look into a great book on the subject written NIFPLAY’s founder, Dr. Stuart Brown, called Play.