Are Kids Forgetting How to Play?


Lack of unstructured outdoor play is affecting children’s development, says expert

Outdoor play is vital for childhood development.  The Epoch Times has more:

Play has been called “the business of childhood,” but with an increasing lack of free, unstructured time outdoors, kids are simply forgetting how to play, says an Ontario teacher consultant.

In the not-too-distant past, it was common to see kids playing outside. These days, however, it seems most children would rather stay indoors and get their entertainment from computers or other electronics.

“There’s a bit of a challenge with electronics these days,” says Sharon Seslija, a health and physical education consultant at Greater Essex County District School Board in Windsor.

“Even in my own neighborhood, it’s like a desert out there—you just don’t see the kids outside.”

Besides spending an increased amount of time in front of various screens, Seslijia says other reasons why children aren’t getting outside as much include being over-scheduled in after-school activities, a lack of quality outdoor play space in urban areas, and parents’ fear that kids may get abducted or harmed if they play outside.

“We’re starting to see that kids don’t know how to play,” she says, noting that play—particularly unsupervised outdoor play—has an important role in children’s development.

This lack of outdoor playtime may be affecting childhood development, according to experts.

Studies show that in addition to the physical benefits of exercise, outdoor play and exposure to the natural world or “green space” has a number of cognitive, emotional, and social development benefits.

Play has been shown to improve and foster motor function, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving, social skills, control emotions, and helps develop speech in preschoolers. It also allows youngsters to try new things, test boundaries, and learn from their mistakes in a safe environment…
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Check out this top ten, eco-friendly list of fun outdoor play activities

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