How true it is: when we're relaxed and having fun our true colors shimmer and shine like silk in the wind. While you might think it's okay for adults not to play toooo much, children are another story.
Imaginative play is crucial for a child's development.
"The Serious Need for Play" is, well, serious about this fact.
In this Scientific American article, Melinda Wenner highlights a few points worth considering:
If you think about it, Wenner's findings make perfect sense. When we empower children to create their own games and scenerios, without forcing them to adhere to rules and structure, they learn and grow.
Every child has a right to play.
The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognizes play as a right every child should enjoy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports this right, knowing how important play is to the overall well-being and growth of children.
The AAP notes that imaginative play doesn't just strengthen the child, though, it also strengthens the parent-child bond. A recent article published on the APP website, "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds,"highlights a healthy dose of benefits for kids who get to be kids. Some of these include:
4 ways to fuel your child's imagination.
The nice thing about free play is that it's, well, free. No rules. No regulations. No stress. No setup. If you provide an environment to encourage free play it just might start to happen when you're not looking. Here are 4 easy ways to help your children grow:
What about you?
How do you encourage your children to use their imagination and play?
Update 2/5/2012 Our starscape is used in this Advil commercial on TV! The child is building a lovely fort!