I was looking at an online listing for toy wooden blocks the other day when I happened to glance at the comments people had about the product. One buyer had the following complaint: “I purchased these blocks, but when they arrived there were no directions in the box.”
Who needs directions for wooden blocks?!?
That little mini conversation between buyer and seller sums up, for me, a bigger issue about the lack of free play children experience at home and at school. There’s still an attitude that unstructured play is frivolous for children and some sort of structure is needed if they’re going to learn anything. As teachers, we know that children need free play. It’s just a shame that some people in decision making positions aren’t listening.
What do children get out of unstructured play?
- They work out scary or confusing life issues
- They learn problem-solving and cooperation skills
- They build connections in their brain due to the social interactions of play
- They develop confidence and resiliency needed in the future
- They feel joy
A confident problem solver who cooperates with others? That’s who future employers want to hire. We’re giving children a successful start with unstructured play
4 thoughts on “Set Them Free!”
When children are engaged in unstructed play,they are in the process of establishing their own objectives. Deciding how to play with a toy truck or doll is unstructed play. Inventing games is unstructed activities. Child-driven play… has the greatest benefits to children because it contributes to cognitive, physical, social and emotional well- being.
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Yes, Children need Free Play Time. I enjoy putting various objects in a basket on the floor and watch them interact the ojects and their peers.