A kid's job is to play!
No Fooling: Experts Bemoan Loss of Kid' Play Time (by David Crary, AP, 18 november 2008,
International Business Times)
NEW YORK (AP) - Many early-childhood educators are concerned about the dwindling amount of time allotted to America's children for unstructured, creative play. Here are some reasons for the problem, some of the consequences and some recommendations:
_Parental fears about letting children play outside on their own.
_Schools cutting back on recess time.
_More emphasis on organized sports and other structured extracurricular activities.
_More time spent by kids watching TV, playing video games, using cell phones.
_More emphasis by schools and parents on improving kids' academic skills.
_Higher rates of obesity, stress and attention deficit disorder.
_Less contact with nature.
_Potential disadvantage in the global economy in regard to creativity, innovation.
_Developing "safe spaces" where children can play freely outdoors in their neighborhoods.
_Reduce use of "passive entertainment" including TV and computer games.
_Promote use of imagination-nurturing toys such as blocks and dolls.
_Encourage fantasy role-play for preschoolers.
_Let kids play at playgrounds, etc., without feeling their parent is watching every move.
_Don't insist on playing with your child if he or she is happily playing alone.
___Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; psychologist Michael Thompson.
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