Do you play with your child?
The amount of free playtime for children is steadily diminishing. Around 40% of the day was free playtime according to a scientific research done around the year 1980 in the USA, and in the 90’s it was down to 20% and probably even less today than that. We as parents really want our children to thrive and part of our attempts to achieve that, is to schedule and structure our children’s time to things that we consider good for them and educational.
Do you schedule time for you child to do things that are not scheduled? Yes, I know this sentence is weird but what I mean is, do you keep anytime on your children’s schedule available to just play?
When a child plays without an adult supervision or structure, it learns more with free playtime than the other way around. If your child is not used to being able to explore and choose to dig a hole for no parents reason at all, for example, you might see confusion from your child at first when you allow your child to engage in free playtime. If you want to join your child in the free playtime, just be sure to let your child lead and if your child is, at any point, confused and does not know what to do next, just wait. Worst case scenario make subtle suggestions like, “why don’t you go outside now”, and the more unspecific you can be the quicker you will notice the creativity in you child start to bloom.
The more structured the playtime is the more the child will learn what we want them to learn, but nevertheless they will learn much less. The more they control the free playtime the more they will learn and the more their creativity is being nurtured.
We are all born with great creativity and free playtime is one of the great ways to let that creativity shine and thrive.