The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children’s playtime has decreased by 25% from 1981 to 1997. Not hard to imagine that the stats are even lower considering today's technologically fast paced life. A recent national survey found that only 51% of children went outside to walk or play once per day with either parent. They also found that 30% of US kindergarten children no longer have recess due to increased academic pressure in schools! As a result of these findings, doctors have been considering scheduling essential playtime for kids during their wellness visits.
During playtime kids learn many life skills including language skills, negotiating skills, they learn how to manage stress, how to work alongside others and they develop executive function. Without scheduled playtime, kids risk lacking these important life skills in their teenage years and through adulthood.
The American Academy of Pediatrics identifies 4 kinds of healthy play for kids:
After reading more information on this, I am considering making a playtime schedule for my daughters to make sure they are getting in the necessary types of play as a child. I'll be sure to share what I come up with and how it works. Thanks for reading!
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