In this article Rebecca Renner interviews Katie Raspa, “People kind of forget that children are supposed to play,” Raspa says. “It helps them learn really critical skills like creativity, flexibility, and cooperation.”
Raspa continues, ”
Why kids need to play
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With most playdates limited and school recesses cancelled because of the pandemic, it’s crucial for parents to find ways for their children to play, whether it’s on their own, with parents or siblings, or with trusted friends. That way, children can continue to develop fine motor skills by doing puzzles or crafts, boost brainpower and cognition with a challenging board game, or enhance critical-thinking skills with an activity like a scavenger hunt.
Creative play can also boost mental health, notably as children cope with anxiety and fears about the pandemic. Golinkoff says that the negotiation, communication, and language skills built from play activities are important for a child’s social-emotional development. “They often involve acting out scenarios from adult life or the world in a safe space that makes it easier to cope with them,” she says.
As educators, we know that play is crucial to development. Raspa provides us more reasons why large blocks of time devoted to child-initiated play should be included every day.