- 6February 2020
Playtime, How much is too much?
In today’s modern world, there is just too much focus on education. Focus on education by itself is not a bad thing, but too much of it cuts into recess time that is extremely harmful. Leading world pediatricians have been highlighting this dangerous trend for long. Their words have proven true for recent medical reports reveal that kids as young as kindergarten age today don’t even get enough of playtime.
Another aspect that is worrying is too much of playtime on the Computer Screen and Smartphone. Kids today spend a lot of their playtime watching cartoons on TV or playing games on the computer or Smartphone’s or simply watching videos. Due to these factors, children are losing out on the precious gift of face-to-face time with kids their age.
Fortunately, leading educators and child advocates have come to realise the seriousness of these trends. They acknowledge that the rising digital use has resulted in severe cognitive language and socio-emotional issues.
PLAY IS A GOOD STRESS BUSTER
Playtime activities helps boost a child’s health and growth, build stable and nurturing relationship with their peers and parents. Medical studies reveal that nine out of ten parents believe that play is fundamental to their own happiness, making them feel more creative, relaxed, and energised. It also highlights the fact that playtime acts as a solid buffer against toxic stress while helping forge strong social-emotional resilience. Parents feel more connected to their child during playtime.
WHAT MAKES PLAYTIME SO VITAL?
Medical studies have conclusively proven that learning through play for children is more likely to encourage and help their long-term academic success, improve their results, and finally, stimulate their interest in learning. Children tend to really learn better when they stay actively engrossed in play and learn to discover things for themselves. More importantly, their language development will also be better as they communicate with children of their age or people in general, during playtime.
Children should be exposed to different types of playtime, to absorb different benefits.
TOYS & OBJECT PLAY
Babies and small kids use their sensory-motor skills when playing with toys and objects. They become inquisitive, exploring its properties and try to make sense of it through various experimentation’s. Similarly, new school-going children develop abstract thinking and learn varied concepts, by trying to substitute objects in different ways.
Physical play involving play equipment with other kids allows children to develop motor skills, and build emotional intelligence. For instance, playground item like ‘Merry-Go-Round’ pushes children to work the act themselves, explore various tactics, and develop the confidence to take on risks in a relatively safe environment. Likewise, physical play’s like tag, helps children to develop basic socio-emotional skills, imbibing in them, empathy for others without hurting them in anyway.
It’s the most important play that brings children face-to-face with nature, out in the open. Outdoor play activities like games from cricket to football, etc, help children to use their senses; and develop skills of planning with better focus and attention span with spatial awareness and balance. Herein, it’s important that the schools they study in allow them more time for recess.
HOW MUCH OF PLAYTIME?
Little kids under 5 years of age need three hours of physical activity a day, while children between 2-8 years of age not only need activities involving a lot of movement, but also lots of variety to go with it. Playtime should not only be active, but also fun so as to allow children develop skills in a diverse spectrum of ways.
Screen time is best avoided for children less than two years of age while for school-going children, two hours or less screen time per day is recommended.
The beauty about play is that it’s free and simple, old-fashioned play helps a lot, acting as a stress-buster. Premier leading Hyderabad-based kid’s toy brand and children toy maker, ALPAKS, is synonymous with colorful toys that are wonderful stress-busters. From clay to educational toys to innovative furniture and more, ALPAKS makes them all. Each ALPAKS toy undergoes stringent quality tests to ensure that they are successful in energising kid’s innovative minds and fuel their curiosity to experiment, while imbibing in them healthy respect for environment and the need for developing healthy environmental-friendly habits.
Giving children, plenty of opportunities for playtime, helps them to evolve into creative, happy, and healthy children who later become sensible adults. So, make sure, that you give your own children lots of that and share the joys of playing while connecting better with them.
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