Creative and Imaginative Play

“It turns out that all that time spent playing make-believe actually helped children develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function.  Executive function has a number of different elements, but a central one is that ability to self-regulate.  Kids with good self-regulation are able to control their emotions and behaviors, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline.” (Excerpt from:  Old-Fashioned Play Builds serious Skills written by:  Alix Spiegel

My daughter, who lives several time zones away from me, sent me an article to read because she knows how passionate I am about young children, their development and the NECESSITY of free and imaginative play to develop children’s critical thinking skills. It is a very sad statement about today’s children that too many of them are not allowed to, or do not even know how to ‘just play.’ What I mean is:  No toys, no coaches, no promise of a trophy, no fancy uniforms, no parents, no instructions, just be creative and play.  Teachers watch on the playground as children try to be imaginative in their play, but often the children just want to come and talk to the teacher supervising the playground, because in reality, the child does not know what to do.  How very, very sad! I understand how society has changed and perhaps you don’t feel that your neighborhood is a safe environment for your child.  Well, he/she can practice ‘playing’ inside as well.  No TV, video games, i-phones, i-pads, computers, toys, games, … just imaginative and creative play.  Try it with your child and see just how hard it really is for them. It shouldn’t be, but it is.  Teachers are well aware of how hard it is for your child, but you need to see it first hand for yourself.  Please read this very informative article about the absolute need for children’s imaginative lay.  Then please take a moment to make a comment about what you have read.  I am really curious about how parents will react to the article.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19212514

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2 Comments

Filed under First Grade, Kindergarten, Parents, Play

2 responses to “Creative and Imaginative Play

  1. Obviously this is true! Too many times I have babysat for the most boring little children who didn’t even want to play outside because…what does one do outside?

  2. Lisa T

    As usual, I am on board with your opinion in your blog and the article. Now that my kids are 6 and 8, it is with immeasurable joy that I release them out of the house to play with whichever neighborhood kids are available, whether it be riding bikes, goofing around, playing sports/games, or “saving the universe” (this was just yesterday). I encourage the kids to get out and play and not to bring too many shackles to the fun (toys, sporting gear, etc), except maybe a bike to get there. My daughter in particular spends much of her time playing on her own, and there is a constant stream of words coming out of her mouth, none of which is ever intended for me. I have many fond childhood memories of unstructured time spent outside with neighborhood friends, and I wish for the same kind of memories for my own kids. Plus, knowing they are building life skills helps inspire me to keep them working on it!

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