Joyous Blog

Guest Post: Something for Nothing - The Value of Free Play

Dec 18, 2016 BY Du La

Note from Joy: I was so happy to read this article from Du because it immediately made me feel less mom-guilt! I've noticed that Vienna is perfectly happy to play in her bedroom or look at books by herself. But it's not uncommon for 30-45 minutes to go by where she is completely immersed in playing by herself. After reading this article, I know this is beneficial for her development. Phew!

Free play, or unstructured play is when children are allowed to direct play themselves, engaging in activities of interest to themselves, and as much as is possible, resolving conflict on their own.

If you noticed there is no mention of parental involvement in the above description: it’s because there wasn’t.

Free play, or simply “playing”, is an activity that in many circles of contemporary parenting is considered of little value, and a relative waste of time when compared to more structured activities such as getting a head-start on learning letters and numbers, engagement in a musical activity of some nature, or Mandarin lessons.

Research (and much writing) is now demonstrating that this view, of unstructured, “idle” time being of no value to children’s development, is deeply flawed, and that letting children “figure it out” is an outstanding developmental tool.

What are the benefits of free, unstructured play?

Letting children direct their own activities has a range of physical, cognitive and social benefits.

When children play without parental interference, they tend to be more active than when parents actively direct activity. Parental involvement is well-intentioned, in the interest of safety, but often parents “take it too far”, limiting opportunities to climb and run (to prevent falls), play in wooded areas (to prevent cuts and becoming dirty), and so on.

Research confirms that although without parental interference injuries do occur slightly more often, the injuries are by-and-large minor in nature, but with the trade-off of reduced levels of physical activity. In the context of the fact that only 9% of Canadian children meet research-based physical activity guidelines, and our knowledge of the role of physical activity in preventing obesity and a wide-range of other health conditions, maximizing children’s activity levels, and interest in an active lifestyle is of great value.

Cognitively and socially, allowing children to self-determine what type of activity they participate in, and resolve playtime conflicts on their own helps in development of a wide range of “executive functions”. Executive functions are cognitive skills, including ability to organize and plan; regulate behaviour and assess risk; and get started on, and move between tasks. These are obviously important skills for adjustment to a school environment, and indeed, are predictors of success in school, health and wealth.
In a nutshell, free, unstructured play:

  • Optimizes children’s activity levels
  • Increases their interest in physical activity (when parents discourage children from every “risky” behaviour, it reduces the perception of fun had in physical play), which bodes well for lifetime interest in being active
  • Improves academic performance
  • Decreases aggressive behaviour
  • In general, is linked to greater success in life
  • Is free in dollar and convenience cost (i.e., no driving to lessons on a deadline)
  • Allows parents to be less intensely involved in their children’s leisure, allowing time to re-connect with each other
Promo Block

So, how do we do it?

It’s as easy as doing nothing (almost literally).

In our home, although heavily scheduled as many are with birthday parties, and pursuing our children’s interests, we try to reserve time for “idle activity”.

We schedule only one extra-curricular activity for each of our children at any one time, and try, as much as is possible, to reserve one day of each week-end as a “family day”, to be used in unstructured leisure.

In the routine of our lives, we try to remain “hands-off”. After school in the schoolyard, we refrain from intervening immediately to restrict mildly risky behaviours, allowing our children to explore and challenge themselves.

Promo Block

At home, we do not allow screen time on weekdays. Although many parents are concerned that without a screen to occupy their children they will not be able to get any of their own work done, our children are used to playing together, or alone (in itself an important skill). The transition to less screen time will not be easy, but in our opinion, is worth it.

At home (and less so with other peoples children), we wait before interjecting to mediate interpersonal conflict.

Lastly, rather than always using leisure time in structured activities (e.g., trips to the zoo, art gallery, etc.), we may go to the park. We let the kids roam free and explore, and we spend time together, which, as otherwise very busy parents and professionals, helps strengthen our relationship.

They say you don’t something for nothing, but sometimes you get a lot.

Dec 18, 2016 BY Du La
mary C.   •   December 27, 2017

This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me ... My name is Mary Clifford, and I based in London. My life has returned! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three children. I felt like my life was about to end, and it was falling apart. Thanks to a spellcaster called DR eromonsele whom I met online. On a faithful day, while I was browsing through the Internet, I was looking for a good spellcaster who can solve my problems I found a series of testimonials about this spell spell particular. Some people testified that he brought his Ex lover back, some testified that he restores the uterus, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce, etc. There was a particular Testimony that I saw, it was a woman called Grace, she testified about how Dr. Eromonsele brought his ex-lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of The testimony dropped the e-mail address of Dr. Eromonsele. After reading all this, I I decided to try DR EROMONSELE. I contacted him by email and I explained to him problem for him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solve our problems, and we are even happier than before. Dr. eromonsele is really a talented and a gifted man and I will not stop publishing it because he is a wonderful man ... if you have a problem and are looking for a Genuine spell caster to solve that problem. Try the great Dr. eromonsele Today, he could be the answer to your problem. Here 'your contact: Thank you great eromonsele. Contact for the next: (1) If you want to recover your ex (2) If you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women / men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) [You want to be rich. (7) You want to bind your husband / wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) Herbal care 10) Help get people out of prison (11) Marriage spells (12) Miraculous spells (13) Beauty spells (14) CHARMING PROPHET (15) Attraction spells (16) Evil Eye Spells (17) Spell Kiss (18) Eliminate disease spells (19) SPELLING WINNERS OF THE CHOICE (20) SUCCESS IN EXAMINATION SPELLS (21) Charm to know who to love you. (22) Business Spell (23) Remove spells of HIV disease Contact him today at: 2349031751608 You can also CONTACT it on whatsapp on the same phone number.note that you can only pay for the items which he will use to help you and if you need him contact him now


Post Comment

More Posts
Brew your way to Joyous Health in our NEW online course! JOIN THE WAITLIST