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Pediatricians Urge Free Play

Highlights from a new American Academy of Pediatrics report on the importance of play at home and at school

  • Children need free play at home and at school
  • Play is essential for the cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being of children and youth
  • Undirected free play:
    • Allows children to develop imagination and physical, mental, and emotional strength
    • Helps children conquer fears, practice adult roles, and develop confidence
    • Allows children to learn to work with others, share, and self-advocate
    • Builds active, healthy bodies
  • Play is essential for learning
    • It helps children adjust to school settings
    • It enhances learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills
  • Free play and recess are declining in American schools
    • In 1989, 96% of school systems had at least one recess period
    • In 1999, only 70% of kindergarten classrooms had recess
    • Today, school responses to the No Child Left Behind Act often results in reduced time for recess, creative arts, and physical education


Pediatricians Urge Free Play"The challenge for society, schools, and parents is to strike the balance that allows all children to reach their potential without pushing them beyond their personal comfort limits while allowing them personal free playtime."

Source: "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds"

A Clinical Report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kenneth R. Ginsberg MD, MS Ed., and the Committee on Communications and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

Click here for the full report (PDF format)
Link provided with permission of the American Academy of Pediatrics
 
Taken from http://www.museumofplay.org/about_play/free_play.html


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