I have just read a great article on Linkedin by a guy called Blake Griffin Edwards.
I would like to share parts of this as I think he has a great point. We live such a different life today compared to how most us did growing up. Everything has it's advantages and this generation are well prepared for the digital life we are now leading.
However, what have they learned from playing outdoors? Have they done it enough? Do we allow them to?
This is what Blake writes:
"You're an adult. Go play with a kid!
Getting outside for an hour or two disturbs the monotony of the mundane, the routine, and the digital. The outdoors have a way of cleansing thoughts and emotions, sometimes leading to unexpected conversation and connection. In the best of cases, spending quality time together leads to storytelling, laughter, and other forms of playfulness—relationship-building catalysts that spur not only a deeper sense of connection but also enrich development. And that goes for the adults as well, of course. As we lower our guards and heighten our senses, we all learn and grow.
Like breathing, eating, and sleeping, we all—especially our kids—have a built-in need to be playful. Life is a kind of playground. If a child isn’t good at playful interaction, he or she may be more likely to withdraw from social situations. Being good at playful interaction depends on continual modeling and practice. Play is critical for healthy development. There are no substitutes. Everything we do can be permeated with an attitude that is playful. Albert Einstein has been quoted as having once stated,
“Play is the highest form of research.”
Playfulness also signals safety. Research psychologists from Texas Christian University instructed, “Shared silliness, laughter, and games all demonstrate to a child that you mean no harm (Purvis, Cross, & Sunshine, 2007, The Connected Child)."
Playfulness can unlock and promote language-skill development, social skills, and even attachment security. Time dedicated to freewheeling, spontaneous play is eroding, and everything from sadness, worry, boredom, or worse flood in behind. You've seen this in action, right? If we’re being honest, don’t we see it in ourselves?
Many of our lives are too crowded for regular and unadulterated play. To the extent we live playless lives, human aptitudes such as spontaneity, creativity, and cooperation fall in decline. It is our responsibility to catalyze for our children the kind of playfulness we all need in our lives, and let them guide the play whenever possible. By the end of the day, let's be sure to give our children the time, space, and resources they need to play well, and let's also be sure we've wasted some time being playful together. "
Go on! Go and play!!