This should be music to parents’ ears, especially at this time of year. Unstructured play is something we champion and explore at the iOi, so it’s great to see the benefits explored and shared. Katie Hurley, child and adolescent psychotherapist, looks at all the ways that play can bring cognitive benefits, and perhaps a stress-free Summer.
Each summer, parents scramble to the fill the weeks with family adventures, exciting classes and camps, and activities that have educational value for little ones. Keeping kids busy with fun activities is a common theme during the summer months.
Here’s the good news for parents: feel free to shed the guilt of creating the “perfect summer.” Research shows that unstructured play is one of the best ways to help your kids learn and grow during the summer months. One study found that unstructured play increases executive function skills such as organizing, staying focused, initiating tasks, self-regulation of emotions, and self-monitoring or the ability to keep track of what you’re doing. Kids who engage in free play are better able to set their own goals, stay focused and work through problems.
Need more reasons to stop running from activity to activity?
Continue reading this article on PBS Parents.