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Experts Say: Kids Need to Play!

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Parents, it’s time to put the child back in childhood. Busy families know there is just not enough time in the day to go to school, do homework, practice an instrument, play athletics, eat dinner, head to church group, take a bath, read a book and go to bed.

Psychologist and best selling author Dr. Michael Thompson recently told a group of early childhood educators “We have to fight back and fight for play.”

It’s not a new cause. Two years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the importance of play time in a child’s life. Studies prove free play fosters creative thinking and higher learning.

Dr. Thompson says there are key factors as to why kids are not enjoying free time:

  • Parents are reluctant to let kids play outside on their own for fear of abduction.
  • Kids spend more time watching TV and playing video games, using the internet or cell phones.
  • More emphasis on formal learning in preschool, more homework in elementary school and more pressure to be smarter at an early age.

Thompson says “parents are more self-conscious and competitive than in the past. They’re pushing their kids to excel…free play loses out.”

Dr. Sue says stop overscheduling your child. “Look at your child’s schedule and remove one item every day. Bringing play back is developmentally important for your child and you.”

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