The Importance of Play
Play is an integral part of children’s lives and according to a recent report by the American Association of Pediatrics is “essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children.”
There are many ways to actively play but one of the main focuses should allow for undirected play. “Undirected play allows children to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts and to learn self advocacy skills. When play is allowed to be child driven, children practice decision-making skills, move at their own pace, discover their own areas of interest, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.”…” In contrast to passive entertainment, play builds active, healthy bodies. In fact, it has been suggested that encouraging unstructured play may be an exceptional way to increase physical activity levels in children, which is one important strategy in the resolution of the obesity epidemic. Perhaps above all, play is a simple joy that is a cherished part of childhood.”
Article courtesy of: American Association of Pediatrics News & Journals, January 2007.
Check out a similar article from Parents Magazine based on the American Association of Pediatrics report of "The Importance of Play."