The main job of a child is to play!
We live in an era were the more children do, the more they are believed to be successful later on. Giving them many different opportunities to learn, gives them more opportunities when they grow up. Putting them in classes is confused with play time and free time is confused as screen time.
We need to remember that children are meant to play most of the time and that children under eight do not need extra curricula activities – even if that activity is something they really enjoy doing!
Children need lots of time for play and movement. When we mean play, we mean child led play not adult led. So children are left to their own devises at home or outside to get bored and learn to invent games out of boredom. To get their imaginations running wild with a few sticks and a trickle of water. To let them dream, make sense of the world and grow healthy.
Now that school is soon starting, we are bombarded with all the extra curricula we should be booking before it is too late. Here I tell you, wait, let it be too late if need be. Check before booking anything: When does my child(ren) have time to play on a daily basis? And for how long? When does my child(ren) have time for movement on a daily basis and for how long? Will our days be a race against time to get to all places in time or are we pacing them out so we are not rushed? Have you taken note of how much homework do they get if they do? Have you taken note of travelling times and traffic? Have you taken into consideration if there will be time for a family meal? For a reasonable bedtime with relax time before? Have you considered how all the activities will effect not just your daily lives in general but stress levels and burn outs both yourself and your child(ren)?
When we allow ourselves, not to be pushed by the world’s rush of doing. We are giving a great gift to our children. We are letting them be children to take their time to grow by running wild in our little countryside, by playing with a few toys at home or reading a book cozy in the bed. We are putting their priorities first. Keeping the boundaries that children are not yet able to keep. Filtering the world for them. And if that sport is really a passion of theirs, when they grow up a bit more, because they have learnt to wait, they will enjoy it even more and their passion will grow quicker then ever.
Doing less, is truly doing more because children – and especially those under 7 – learn mostly through play but not through adult led play!