How To Encourage Free Play Among Children?
Academics and play both need to be kept in balance if parents want their kids to excel in life. Having the freedom of free play puts children on the road to success and achievements in life. Giving them ample time and resources for free play shows a hidden, brighter side of the child which if nurtured and developed could really achieve commendable new heights and give a winning story already.
Free and unstructured play happens when the child is not following any rules or guidelines. Free play improves their creativity, imagination, independence and problem-solving skills. Let children express themselves in whichever way they want to.
But sadly this type of play has been seeing the lows since the 1940s because of changing ideas on education and fears about letting the kids be supervised. Parents though have started understanding that free and unstructured play is a powerful brain booster but they still need to accept this concept and let it happen naturally.
Parents can let free play become an exciting and organic part of their kid’s life by doing these things:-
1. Be encouraging and praising towards kids–
Parents should encourage the activities of their kids by praising them on what they are doing. For example, you can appreciate your kid on the giant mud castle being built or the beautiful sea princess dress she made for kids prom night.
It’s not necessary to offer your end suggestions about what needs to be done rightly. You have to know that the kids need to experience the feeling of doing things on their own whether wrong or right.
2. Provide kids with what playthings or stuff they demand-
To encourage free play, provide them with what they want. If they want soft toys, or puzzles or any particular board game, colouring crayons or that super character dress, do give them that. It will encourage imagination and give a boost up to their spirits about the fact that they are doing something good and their parents too are with them.
Children develop a strong sense of self-worth from being creative. For e.g., while making a house of cards your child may have to try to keep the card house intact and it may topple over many times. But by trying again and again the child will learn the virtue of perseverance and gain confidence over his own quality of patience and problem-solving.
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3. Reserve proper amount of time for free play—
Parents should know that free play is a great form of self-expression for kids. It lets them breathe in their shoes and focuses on a thing they like.
Kids develop confidence, become more organized in thought and action, develop their creative wings and get ready to soar high, winning in all their endeavours.
Parents should not overburden them with a tight schedule of homework and extracurriculars which they don’t specifically like. The stereotype routine should be improvised to let enter the fun world setup where they feel happy, active and free.
4. Invite everyone-
Parents should invite the kids from the neighbourhood and assemble them all in the front yard giving them playthings which they like. In this way, your kid gets exposure to children from different backgrounds, age groups and thinking and thus have more fun.
Mixed-age gang ups lead kids to diversify their territory of thoughts making them smarter, able, proactive and an all-rounder. It creates a better environment for learning and gives a lot of interactional opportunities.
5. Make kids understand the importance of free play—
Parents should make kids understand the importance of free play by letting them experience boredom and the feeling of being stuck in the same activity for long. Then they must know how to overcome this feeling, without the interference of parents giving their piece of advice as to the solution to their problem.
Kids must be encouraged to go find their own perfect solution for their boredom issues and thus giving them the power of choice and decision making.
6. Be there when needed—
You surely need to give kids their play space to have fun but you can’t expect them to keep on playing alone for ages. Sometimes parents should participate and play with their kids trying to make things more fun.
Parents should know that the ego needs of kids and their emotional health is related to free play. It helps to develop self-worth and confidence in children giving them a feel-good effect.
Free play as proven by research is fundamental to every kind of learning and it paves the way for healthy and active functioning of the brain, looking forward over the horizon of stereotype learning.
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Parents can add fun chunk in the lives of kids by-
Giving value to fun zones—
Places where children like to go like a park, a play centre, museums, gardens, should be remembered and parents should take their kids there more often. Allow kids to do whatever they want to do without interfering there. Physical activities performed will nourish their body and mind ushering in renewed spirits, making discoveries, knowing about his choices, ideas and more.
Doing some extra parent-effort–
Make kids more people-friendly, spirited, enthusiastic about outdoor adventures. Make them smarter in outlook and learning to rely on their own senses. Allow him to know new things, discover new people, places, events and possess the power to lead.
Today one of the most concerning aspects of raising children is the amount of time they spend in front of screens, whether TV, DVD, Video, Computer or Play Station. They are just being passive recipients of auditory and visual stimulation. These ways are very artificial forms of gaining knowledge which lack natural touch and through does not help children in gaining anything valuable. Therefore, free play comes as a healthy, alternative measure which provides every opportunity to make children productive in every respect.
Child development goes through different phases and each phase involves learning and various skills. To know more about child development and its main areas, read the post on Child Development and The Areas and Skills Associated With It.
Share your thoughts in comments, how free play can be productive for your child.
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