Once upon a time, children were seen as people that spends all day everyday playing, jumping, and asking a thousand question per second, is this assumption still true today?
Boys used to spend hours playing football, chasing lizards, flying kites, and climbing trees while the girls spent hours on pretend play – cooking and baking, making cloths for dolls and dressing up the dolls hair.
As I write, I remember how I used to chase butterflies around my neighborhood, write words in sand, smell the beautiful flowers on my path, and make dolls for myself as the store-bought dolls I had were old and broken.
Do children now still have the privilege of playing and forgetting that they haven’t eaten food, watched the television or played video games for hours?
David Elkind so aptly puts it when he said, “Although under attack from some goal-oriented politicians and parents and often considered superfluous by school administrators and teachers, free play remains vital to human health and creativity.”
Although David Elkind advocates for free play, I believe that irrespective of how much parents expect their children to learn while playing, play still is the language of childhood and it should remain so because the period of childhood sets the stage for the later life of the child.
Through play, children are able create new learning experiences, prepare for curve balls, and overcome obstacles. These childhood self-created experiences enable them to acquire social, emotional, spiritual, and mental skills that they could not have acquired in any other way other than through play.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers
Research shows that play in childhood isn’t something to overlook or push to side by packing your children’s schedule with afterschool activities to keep them away from playing. Rather, free, and guided play time should be intentionally planned for children as well.
Here are some importance of play:
a. Play is crucial for mental and intellectual creativity
b. Play releases happiness chemicals to the body
c. Play prevents childhood obesity
d. It fosters social development
e. It builds self-esteem and resilience
The power of play in children and adults cannot be overemphasized. This is not to put away the importance of ensuring a balance between playtime and other activities crucial for the overall development of the child. But rather, an awakening in you as a parent to question how often you speak this “language” with your child. As George Bernard Shaw puts it,
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop play.”
Speaking the language of childhood fluently as a parent might just be all you’ll need to resolve the concerns you may have with your child. As a kids’ life coach, I play for a living as our coaching model is play-based.
With children’s wellbeing at the heart of what I do, I offer hands-on, practical, and measurable solutions to everyday challenges children may be facing before they spiral out of control, with play as our language. This preventive approach enables us at Equipping the Child Studio, to focus on the present moment as we inspire, motivate, and ignite the potentials of the children in our programs.
We do not deconstruct the past or try to fix perceived weaknesses of the child. Kids life coaching prevents childhood challenges from impacting on the child’s later teen and adult life. Find out more about our packages and how we can support your child by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Kids Life Coach, Founder – Equipping The Child Studio