Play Is Your Child's Superpower: Here's How To Nurture It

Psychologists like to use the term "free play" to describe what kids do best: muck around.

While the term itself might sound fancy, children don’t see it that way. Instead, it’s what they do naturally. Leave them to their own devices and they’ll start playing around, finding some sort of entertainment for themselves.

Play Is Your Child's Superpower: Here's How To Nurture It

As parents, it's your job to facilitate this type of activity. Free play is extraordinarily beneficial to child development and can help them succeed in other areas of their life. It engages their creativity, imagination and so much more.

Here are some of the methods that parents can use to support free play in their kids.

Allow It to Happen

Children often feel like adults on probation. They have to behave themselves and quell their natural exuberance. In many cases, they learn that if they do anything excessive, the adults and caregivers around them will come down on them like a ton of bricks.

To avoid this, allow free play to unfold naturally. Don’t intervene to stop it, unless there is a safety issue.

Reduce Clubs and Extracurriculars

Kids spend all day in school and then spend all their spare time in structured activities. They go to choir practice, learn musical instruments and play sports.

In all of this, they don’t have any time to just be themselves and enjoy undirected play. And that means that they’re missing out.

Some extracurricular activities are okay, but they shouldn’t dominate your child’s life. They need room to breathe and stretch their legs. As parents, therefore, we can cut down on their obligations and set aside more time for them to have fun.

Provide Toys

Toys, such as the Monster High dolls collection, can help get the play process started. They provide inspiration that gets children thinking. In some cases, they assist with roleplay and make it easier for kids to interact with others their own age.

Play Is Your Child's Superpower: Here's How To Nurture It

Limit Screen Time

These days, it’s easy to limit screen time. Just download apps onto your devices that let you set how long they can remain active per day. Don’t discuss this with your children. Instead, just implement it.

Once it is in place, your kids will naturally adapt. They’ll understand that they only have limited time on their devices and that, the rest of the time, they’re free to play.

Allow Boredom

Kids will often complain that they’re bored. As parents, we often feel the urge to entertain them with something, feeling like it is our duty. However, if you look back at how people raised kids in the past, they hardly intervened at all. Instead, children had to make their own entertainment.

Boredom can be a catalyst for creativity. Kids who experience it have to come up with ways to occupy their minds.

Be More Playful Yourself

Lastly, you can model playfulness for your child by being more playful yourself. If you sit in front of the TV all evening, your kids will be inclined to do the same. However, if you’re always doing something fun, it’ll rub off on your kids.

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