Today, children get less time than ever to engage in self-directed activities. Read on to discover the importance of free play and make sure your child doesn’t miss out.
By Ashwin Lobo
In today’s competitive world, children are constantly under adult supervision, with parents always trying to ensure that their child is engaged in something productive. While the intention is to ensure the well-being of the child, constant supervision can also stifle his growth. Children need some time for themselves during which they can engage in activities of their choice. In other words, children need some time for free play.
So, what is free play?
Free play is any voluntary activity that a child spontaneously engages in and directs. It can involve outdoor games like running and catching as well as indoor play with toys. Free play is unstructured. This allows her to interact with her immediate environment, and use her imagination and creativity to come up with an activity that keeps her entertained. The concepts of choice and self-direction are crucial in free play. Adults play no part in structuring the activity, nor do they impose any restrictions or time limits within which to complete the activity.
As a parent, you might be hesitant to allow your child to engage in free play due to the fear that she may hurt herself. As a result, you may tend to impose some restrictions on where she can play, who she can play with and the games she can play. However, this goes against the idea of free play and denies your child the opportunity to express herself. Read on to know how exactly your child benefits from engaging in free play.
Instead of worrying about your child getting hurt during free play, you can ensure his safety by participating in his games with him. This will give you the opportunity to bond with him and observe his talents and problem-solving skills. Allow him to use this time as he wants to, as long as it’s reasonably safe.
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