With the girls at tutorial, Tuesdays are the perfect time to catch up on blog posts and to share with you articles and resources that have been helpful to me.
Today I would like to share a wonderful article that my friend Stephie recently posted about play being so important for our children.
In his article, “The Play Deficit,” Peter Gray writes:
In school, and in other settings where adults are in charge, they make decisions for children and solve children’s problems. In play, children make their own decisions and solve their own problems. In adult-directed settings, children are weak and vulnerable. In play, they are strong and powerful. The play world is the child’s practice world for being an adult. We think of play as childish, but to the child, play is the experience of being like an adult: being self-controlled and responsible. To the degree that we take away play, we deprive children of the ability to practise adulthood, and we create people who will go through life with a sense of dependence and victimisation, a sense that there is some authority out there who is supposed to tell them what to do and solve their problems. That is not a healthy way to live.
Now please hear me when I say that this is not meant to be a judgment on school or anyone who attends school. Every family need is different and every solution is different. But I desperately need the assurance that play matters–particularly when we decide to forego books for morning and I watch my girls run with their “kid pack” through the woods of Shelby Park. This is not extracurricular. This is not what we do “if we have time.” Play is central, and it is teaching my kids how to be adults. It matters.
Do our kids suffer from a play deficit? If so, how can we combat this, in school, out of school, or otherwise? What do you think?