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Unstructured Play

Playing in a Fountain

In an era where our children are constantly being bombarded with entertainment and carefully marketed distractions, we as parents often redouble our efforts to occupy them with meaningful, educational play.  And of course, we seek to enrich our children with the best possible ingredients necessary for growth and success.  In efforts to do so, we may pour our hearts out into planning, preparing, organizing and delegating our childrens’ playtime.  However, recent research indicates that unstructured play supports multiple facets of childhood development. Unstructured play has been demonstrated to increase social competence, focus in school, conflict resolution and growth of overall essential life skills. Psychological findings go so far as to assert that our children can benefit from being occupied in twice as much play by means of an unstructured manner than in a structured fashion. Consequently, the detailed lists of sequential activities and colorfully orchestrated daily schedules may be less productive than we previously believed. 

 

Science strongly suggests that when it comes to structured play time, less is more. Children thrive “outside of the box” by becoming self-reliant and explorative. The benefits of unstructured play have been evident in child-rearing practices throughout millennia but have begun to exhibit a significant decline in modern times. Whether it be due to concerns for safety or a yearning for routine, our ancient way of developing our youth is becoming increasingly rare. 

 

When we think back to our own childhood, we recall the days when the neighborhood roared with laughter and children roamed wildly, engaged in endless days of self-made play. Yet today, it can be challenging to recreate such environments for numerous reasons including security and lack of convenience. At times, recruiting playmates can seem like a chore in and of itself. Parent Network delivers a safer, more sophisticated avenue for children to create their own play and initiate stimulating environments to help each other advance. By integrating factors like your family’s location and availability, the platform conveniently composes a calendar full of wholesome, original playtime. These options are available both online and offline and help widen your child’s horizon to incredibly flexible clubs involving language, chess, art, story-telling and more. Parent network strikes the perfect balance between purposeful play and unstructured imaginativeness that your child craves.

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