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More Playing = Happier Kids

October 19, 2011

A recent article published in The Atlantic by pediatrician and clinical associate professor of Family Medicine at Brown University Esther Entin looks into the reason your kids might be a little more depressed and anxious than previous generations.

While most of us remember running around, playing hide and seek and tag as a child, kids today are seeing a lot more of the inside of shopping malls and classrooms. According to Entin, “free play” has been on a serious decline for most children. Often the only time you see children outside playing games, they are in uniform, playing an organized sport. While these activities are good for building certain skills, the benefits of “free play” have yet to be recognized, until now.

Peter Gray, Ph.D Professor at Boston College defines “free play” as play that a child undertakes him- or her-self and is self-directed. It is what he describes as the “testing ground for life”. Through free play kids have the opportunity to explore and develop their own interests.

This article outlines five ways in which play time benefits kids, you can read the full article and all of the tips here.

So parents, before you drag your kid grocery shopping, or after they’ve chipped away a good chuck of their homework, let your child run around and get a chance to get out and play – it can make a world of difference.

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