Creative Play - U.S. Children Need More Play

Bicep Power

Kids Creative Play

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Here is a picture that loves to tell a story. Brothers who love to play together. Furthermore, brothers who love creative play. Creative Play rocks!

In these pictures, I am not sure I even know all that is going on. The biggest kick I get out of it is the tissues they stuffed into their shirtsleeves to show their biceps. One thing is for sure, the boys were having the time of their lives. Simple right.

According to recent studies, "All work no play may be a hazard for some U.S. children." You think?

"The available research suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school," the research team said in a study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But today many children get less free time and fewer physical outlets at school "because many school districts responded to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by reducing time committed to recess, the creative arts, and even physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics," they added."

The entire article is here.

The answers are not easy and yet they are. Ourdoor time and creative play is imperative. What with busy school schedules, family life, activities. Yet it is one worth taking note of because creative play is essential in young children. The benefits of creative and outdoor are many.

The MSNBC article ran just before the Holidays: "Experts: Lack of playtime is hurting children." They state:

“Parents are more self-conscious and competitive than in the past,” Thompson said. “They’re pushing their kids to excel. ... Free play loses out.”

These articles remind us of the benefits of letting our children be children. Really we should encourage it.

One of the biggest culprits is pushing our children, over=scheduling them and not slowing down. Do children 'need' lesson upon lesson before, during and after school? And as these articles state, these 'lessons' and 'skills' that we seem to push for - we're pushing the children earlier and earlier.

Here are a few things we do to up the outdoor time:

We usually get out the door for a hike as a family somewhere, most days; make it fun - Mountain Man takes the boys for 'kindling' for the fireplace; We take them to shoot hoops at the gym on the full-court. Talk about a good workout - full-court press with twins. Biking with helmets that fit and are snapped on is a favorite of ours. An alltime favorite and simple way to get everyone moving is an after dinner walk in the neighborhood. We have a pond right at the end of our cul-de-sac, we love to saunter around and enjoy a little extra outdoor time any time we make the effort.

What are your thoughts? Over scheduled? Do you think your children get enough play time at school? Or home?

Want to share your photos and thoughts at Kristen's "Sincerely Fro You to Me" - enter yours and enjoy.



Muthering Heights said...

Those are some pretty silly kids - they look like they would be a lot of fun!

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

Long live playtime and letting boys be boys!

Anonymous said...

I agree - long live letting boys be boys!!! I love the biceps!! My brother used to put a t-shirt over his down coat to make him look like he has muscles!

Shannon said...

Did your boys go through a fighting phase? They seem to play so well together. I am thinking my twins will never get to this awesome phase.

Kristen said...

You've got some fun kids!

Let boys be boys and let kids have fun!

Nancy M. said...

Your boys are so handsome, even when being silly! Since we homeschool, my son goes out and chases chickens and rides bikes, and all kinds of things. No over-scheduling here, lol!

Blue Castle said...

Creative kids, there. :) My boys mainly love to run through the house "swooshing" like superheroes.

Beth in NC said...

My little one is only 3 1/2, but even now I feel like she doesn't get enough out-door time (and WE LIVE ON A FARM!). It has either been really cold or muddy. I definitely need to make more of an effort to get my Princess outside. She just got a new Rainbow play set last summer and she loves it.

Thanks for the prompting!

World's Greatest Mommy said...

Cute pics! We actually took a year-long break from soccer, choir, marital arts...everything. It's been amazing to have time together to just hang out and play. The kids are ready to add some stuff back in...but I'm not sure yet.

Bahama Shores Mama said...

I am a subscriber to the
Boredom breeds Creativity book!

I'd love for my kids to have recess at school again!

We are THAT Family said...

Awesome! And so true. My kids HAVE THE MOST fun when they are doing creative play. No extracurricular, no screens, just their imagination!

Montee said...

I think experts change their minds with the wind. I am sure parents don't need an expert to tell them that recess and P.E. are very important. I am disappointed in how little time school children get to run around and let off some energy. The school systems worry about serving healthy foods in the cafeterias, but yet cut back on time for physical education. I have about had it with the so-called, "experts" because the more they talk, the more they screw things up.

Then there are some parents who have to have their children in everything imaginable. Our children were involved in things but usually one thing at a time. I believe in letting the kids just chillout at home, play and use their imagination, like your boys.

Ginger said...

I think so many children are scheduled to the max with lesson after lesson! Many of life's greatest lessons are learned by playing in the yard!

Tammy said...

Such fun photos. And we make it a point to get them away from the TV and play. And force the outdoors on them when the temperature is a bit warmer than right now!

Angela Fehr said...

Thanks for this...I have been starting to feel like the "weird mum" because I like to keep my kids unscheduled for the most part. We stay home a lot more than most families and we never do more than one extra-curricular activity - and we homeschool and it all adds up to being very different than the usual over-scheduled, every-activity kids I see my friends raising.

Emily ~ Little Window Shoppe said...

I love creative play and building upon imagination - I think it is such an important part of life. Cute pictures!