The lack of free-play time first came to my attention while I was student teaching. **Free-play is the kind of play that happens when kids come up with their own fun.** I expected something similar to my own elementary school experience when it came to recess. I was shocked by the fact that the 6-7 year old kiddos in my class were only given about 15 minutes near the end of each day on the playground. Those little sweeties slaved away in the classroom all morning long. It seemed a bit wrong to me at the time.
Now that I have kids of my own running around, I feel nearly enraged at the thought of kids getting so little time to play their own games. Now, to all my teacher friends… This is not an attack on teachers who are doing all they can to teach a lot of stuff and go along with school policies. Just thought I’d get that out of the way. The thing is, these little guys are getting up to catch the bus by 7:00 in the morning, working hard at school all day long, going from school to a child-care center or some kind of sporting activity, grabbing a bite to eat, doing homework, and getting a bath so they can head to bed before they do it all again. That’s a lot of stress on our sweet kiddos. The need some time to unwind. They need to get outside. They need to play their own games. If you don’t believe me, check out the research on the health, educational and emotional benefits of kids getting enough time for free-play. It’ll knock you flat.
To that end, I’m going to do some sharing here on the silly little blog. I’m really hoping you’ll join me. Keep reading to the end for details on that. ;)
Today was beautiful here. November weather in the high 70’s doesn’t come around very often in this neck of the woods. We’ve enjoyed several days of it and look forward to about two more before reality and cold weather gets here. To that end, we ditched school today. That’s one great benefit of homeschooling. Doesn’t really matter which days we use, as long as we get in 180 of them! The kids took it easy today. They played. They built a fort in my living room which is still there and might remain there until Saturday if the kids have their way.
As the weather warmed a bit, the kids ventured outside dressed up in some really cool super hero gear.
This is superhero “Rain.” She’s super-cool with her pink-camouflage scarf of power. She can shoo chickens and rescue little brothers like nobody else.
This is “Kubota.” Yeah. As in the tractor. He is super strong and very fast on his super-bike.
This darling little superhero is “Wah, wah.” As in the sound babies make when they are crying. She can scare away the worst villain with her cries. Funny how that works. :)
Sam didn’t care about all the drama as long as he could play in our sandbox that is filled with pebbles. Life is so easy when you are 21 months old…
I’m happy to report that the cat was cool with being “rescued.” He’s such a good cat that-a-way!
So. Now, it’s your turn. Wanna share? Someday, I’ll figure out how to let you link-up your blog. That day is not today. Laundry pile is way too big for that!
Leave me a comment and share some of your kiddos fun story lines that go along with their free-play. Pirates in the bathtub? Climbing up a volcanic mountain on an unknown planet?
Let ‘em get bored and share the fun with us. I’m looking forward to hearing about the drama and even the mess that goes along with free-play.
Oh, and for this post… I’ll allow anonymous comments. I usually don’t because it kind of weirds me out. But today, I’m cool with it as long as you post something relevant. I really want to hear your stories about how your kids play when they are left with some boring, unstructured time.
Hope you’ll join us for free-play day and share how your kiddos play.