Monday, July 6, 2009

Our children don't really play much anymore


Homework has been ramped up for many childrens as part of the effort to boost standardized test scores.

Many of our children attend child care centers after school. While the best centers offer opportunities for spontaneous play, others force children into structured activities designed to keep them busy and quiet......

Children have fully booked schedules of organized activities, including sports, choir practice or tuitions and ect.

Playtime also is being diminished during school hours. The increased emphasis on standardized testing has meant the reduction or elimination of recess time for the children. The increased emphasis on academics over play has reached even for toddlers. ....

Many of children spend afternoons sitting passively in front of a screen watching TV or playing a video or computer game created by someone else.

Instead of using their imaginations to build something from a set of wooden blocks, children are pushing buttons to activate an electronic toy programmed by an adult.

Instead of working off stress by running around the playground with their friends midway through the school day, millions of children are confined to classrooms by policies that have cut or eliminated recess to expand prep time for standardized tests.

Instead of kicking around a ball just for fun, young children -- some only 2 years old -- are signed up for weekly lessons in soccer, swimming and other sports.

"Children need to be able to take a break, just like adults,Recess provides kids with an opportunity to talk with friends, play with a ball or just play on their own."

Take a look at these simple strategies for encouraging unstructured free play:

Turn off the TV.

Limit your kids' extra-curricular activities.

Model how to play.

Praise your kids for playing independently.

Store toys within your kids' reach.

Ask questions about what they're playing

As much as possible, send your children outside to play.

"Parents worry about kids' boredom, so they schedule their lives to keep them busy,But empty hours teach children how to create their own happiness."

Dr Mahani Razali


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