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27 Reasons Why Freedom and Play Are Important During the Summer

Pue ARE IMPORTANT DURING THE SUMMER 27 Reasons Why Freedom and Play 1 2 3 "When young children have adequate time to play on their own terms, they learn and grow at their own pace and build confidence and competence in the process." - Katie Hurley, LCSW "The chance to play all day, every day is wonderful for children. They need those long days and weeks with no pressure to perform, pass tests, or prove themselves, except by their own choosing." – Patty Wipfler "Researchers found that when children engage in unstructured play, daydreaming, risk-taking, and independent discovery, they are actually aiding the development of children's executive functioning." educator at Michigan State University - Carrie Shrier, early childhood 4 5 During water play, children develop skills in "scientific exploration, mathematics, gross and fine motor abilities, and creative expression." - Lee Scott, chairwoman of the Education Advisory Board of The Goddard School "If we do not get this right, we run the risk of pushing struggling children back into a pressured educational environment, which could cause further damage to their mental health and development. Õur children have missed out on enough over the past year; they deserve a summer filled with play."– Helen Dodd, professor of child psychology at the University of Reading Free play affects the developing neurons of the prefrontal cortex during childhood, preparing the brain for emotional regulation, planning, and problem-solving. 7 8 A study by the University of Colorado Boulder found that "less-structured time in children's daily lives predicts self-directed executive functioning." "Play is so mUch more than a part of the summer experience for kids. It's a key component in childhood development, not to mention mental and physical health." – Rachel Nania Studies show that the decline in free play children get to experience correlates with a decline in empathy. Play helps develop appreciation and understanding of others as they play and learn together. 10 11 12 "Kids are not just miniature adults. They are growing and developing and need lots of space and time to process who they are and what they want to become. And they need unstructured summer time to help them discover that." - Elizabeth Mulvahill, elementary teacher "The more time children spend in structured, parent-guided activities, the worse their ability to work productively toward self-directed goals." – Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic On average, children spend more than seven hours in front of a screen daily. This can affect their sleep, self-esteem, and more. Freedom to play away from screens promotes healthy sleep, social skills, physical fitness, and key motor skills. 13 14 15 "When every moment of a child's day is planned, what can get lost is the openness and flexibility for new insights or creativity to arise." - Lynneth Solis, research director for Harvard's Project Zero "Children have a great need for physical exercise and activity and a chance to use their muscles to run, swing, jump, skate, and ride a bike and to be out in the fresh air and sunshine." – Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D. "Kids are built to move, and having more time for unstructured, outdoor play is essentially like a reset button." – Debbie Rhea, Ed.D. 16 17 18 A study of 5,000 students in China found that excessive screen time correlates with the "We should be simply providing fields of free action for them to become, through playing, the resilient, adaptive, creative, emotionally intelligent, and socially confident young people that we all, in truth, want them to be." - Adrian Voce, OBE "Children learn through doing – play is how they explore the world, learn to assess risk, try things out, and get to know themselves." - Bethe Almeras development of short-sightedness. After spending so much time learning remotely during the pandemic, children need dynamic natural environments to support eye health. 19 20 21 "Play builds the kind of free-and-easy, try-it-out, do-it-yourself character that our future needs." - James L. Hymes Jr. "Nature stimulates all the senses. When a child is outdoors, they get to see, touch, hear, smell, and sometimes even taste nature. Sensory development makes life richer, fuller, and al-around more pleasurable." Gateway Region YMCA "Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health." - Richard LoUV 22 23 24 "Play may be an effective antidote to the changes in amygdala size, impulsivity, aggression, and uncontrolled emotion that result from significant childhood adversity and toxic stress." – The American Academy of Pediatrics "The Power of Play" clinical report Many studies have shown that green settings help reduce ADHD symptoms. Additionally, children who play outdoors develop more solid attention spans, stronger self-direction, and a more vibrant sense of curiosity. In just the past few years, vitamin D deficiency in children has increased by 200%. This key nutrient boosts immunity, prevents some autoimmune diseases, and builds strong bones and teeth. Summer sun can help! 25 26 27 "Children need time to reconnect and play with their friends, they need to be reminded how good it feels to be outdoors after so long inside, and they need to get physically active again." - Helen Dodd, professor of child psychology at the University of Reading "If parents are obsessed with always knowing where their children are and controlling all their movements ... this is no way to educate, strengthen, and prepare their children to face challenges." – Pope Francis Summer fun often brings communities together. This sense of community throughout childhood can raise adults who are well-adjusted, active, and generous members of society. Sources: | | | | | | | AAA STATE OF PLAY®

27 Reasons Why Freedom and Play Are Important During the Summer

shared by bdarsow88 on Jul 25
Think back on childhood memories of summer playtime, adventure, leisure time to discover hobbies, and spending time with friends. Not only are these memories priceless, but the times we spent playing ...


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