Time to Play
Author: Rebecca Knowlden
November? Already? The older I get, the faster time goes by. It wasn’t always that way. In fact, when I was a kid, life seemed to go at a snail’s pace. There was a lot of free time to play, run, climb or just daydream. Wow, would I ever appreciate that slower pace in my life these days, how about you?
I was a kid in the late sixties, and it sure seemed like things were simpler. Children back then didn’t have all the technology and special toys, so we explored, built forts with cardboard boxes, played hide-and-go-seek and generally filled up our day with creative activities. And it still felt like we had a bunch of time left over. Then adulthood arrives, and of course everything gets a lot more complicated. Running from one thing to the other. Filling each moment of the day, constantly in fear of missing out on something important. The ‘to do’ list seems never-ending.
Do your kids still have lots of time to ‘just play’, or is that never-ending ‘to-do’ list world now the domain of your children as well? We adults make life pretty complicated and jammed full of activities. Mosty it’s full of good stuff… just too much of it. Unfortunately, we often push that schedule on to our children too. We go at breakneck speeds and place our kids on the same fast track.
Kids need time to just “play”…they learn when they play. Really they do! If they are running around in the car from one activity to another, they miss the opportunity to play. I know that your special needs child requires therapies and focused training opportunities, but just as importantly, they need fresh air and the freedom to run, jump, climb, build and create in an unrestricted space. Exercise for the body and mind. They learn how things work, interact, move, and grow while playing. And the best by-product is a happy, stress free child.
I encourage you to look at your child’s schedule and make sure there is enough “good ‘ole fashioned play” in their everyday life. It will probably be a big transition for both you and your kids, but there will be meaningful long-term benefits.