"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"
And, not just Jack...Jill and the other kids, and their parents! We've become a dull and overworked society by all the work we're doing at the expense of play. Adults feel they must work, work, work to bring home the bacon, and our kids' have zero time for play thanks to over scheduled after school lives and a school day no devoid of recess and free time compliments of the no child left behind. The only way schools have been able to meet that mark is to increase learning time at the expense of the down time everyone agrees kids truly need during their school day.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us that studies actually prove that play makes us healthier, happier and is one of the best stress busters in the universe. Author Steward Brown (Play: how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul) recently outlined for US News and World Report 10 simple ways that play benefits adults and kids:
1. It's good for the brain
2. It taps into our imaginations
3. It teachers us about cooperation and fairness
4. It teaches us about friendship
5. Play during recess is good for learning
6. Play that occurs by being physical keeps the brain from declining as we age
7. We learn complex things better when we play with them
8. It helps solve problems
9. It helps with work stress and perspective
10. It helps keep our lives balances and in check!
Put this way, why are we not playing more??!!
So, today, find some time to play, alone and with your kids. Today, find time for your kids to play, alone and with other kids. Today, think about how you and other parents can grab more play time in the town in which you live - in school and after school. In other words, today, let's take back play and make it a priority again!
Gotta go...play time beckons!