By Kori Stack. January 18, 2021

Our world is heavily scheduled, and the worlds of our children are also heavily scheduled.  One of the biggest benefits of the pandemic for families was that it required everyone to take a step back and evaluate daily, weekly, and monthly activities. Many activities were canceled or dropped, which allowed for more family time, and more unstructured free time.

At Acton Academy, we believe in the value of unstructured free time, or stated simply, time for children to PLAY.

I have included a link to a valuable article on the Importance of Play in Promoting Child Development.  Here are a few excerpts that I found interesting:

  • Create and Explore a World They Can Master.
    • “Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their fears while practicing adult roles, sometimes in conjunction with other children or adult caregivers.”
  • Worry Not Acting as Proper Parents.
    • “It is left to parents to judge appropriate levels of involvement, but many parents seem to feel as though they are running on a treadmill to keep up yet dare not slow their pace for fear their children will fall behind. In addition, some worry they will not be acting as proper parents if they do not participate in this hurried lifestyle.”
  • Learn to Share, Negotiate, & Self-Advocate.
    • “Undirected play allows children to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.”
  • Carefully Crafted Marketing Messages for Parents.
    • “Parents are receiving carefully marketed messages that good parents expose their children to every opportunity to excel, buy a plethora of enrichment tools, and ensure their children participate in a wide variety of activities.”
  • Appropriate Balance Between Preparing for the Future and Living Fully in the Present.
    • “As trusted child advocates, pediatric health professionals are ideally suited to help parents consider the appropriate balance between preparing for the future and living fully in the present through play, child-centered organized activities, and rich parent-child interaction.”

You can view the entire article on the Importance of Play in Promoting Child Development here.