The children of today are fortunate to be served by a school environment as educational and packed with knowledge as ever before. The opportunities are endless and long lists of available activities help especially working parents, to keep their children occupied and their days full.
However, do you suppose your youngsters are spending enough time playing? Are they free to jump, crawl, swing, paint, explore and build regular enough? Are they simply being left alone to be bored? Left with their own thoughts? Or is screen-time their “go to” mindset?
We may assume that the 3rd millennial child should somehow be prepared to be more advanced. That loaded curricula and proposed educational screen-time are important in preparing our youngest work force and leaders for tomorrow.
Many philosophers in the past would not agree though, and modern day educators are warning against overload and lost of a sense of self and the natural world.
The suggestion that during simple play, the very essence of the learning process is taking place, appeals greatly to those who want their children to be independent thinkers, yet able to meet the basic social expectations of the day.
And while we cannot necessarily change the world to suit our views, we can certainly create a space at home where our children can play and just be children. A space to reflect your family values and foster identity.
Here are 7 uncomplicated yet important reasons why your children could benefit from a playroom at home:
1) As the parent, you have the opportunity to create a unique and wonderful space especially for your child(ren). No rules nor external regulations. This could be the very space in which your children discover parts of themselves that could be obstructed by the schedules outside the home environment.
2) Siblings learn to share within a certain space. This can be a really tough one. Children of certain ages tend to be more possessive and giving them their way each and every time could lead to even more extensive difficulties in this individuals’ life. In a stimulating yet simplified play environment, siblings and visiting friends alike are provided with the opportunity to experience and learn how to handle conflict.
3) From a practical point of view, a playroom at home may assist in having a tidier house while children still have a space where they can have it their way. It can become their little mess and there little world. This way children learn that certain activities take place in certain spaces and therefore they are more aware of other people and respect can be cultivated.
4) By facilitating the process, this is a great space in which children can learn how to organize belongings. This process will imply sorting, classification, keeping, finding, prioritising and recreating toys, materials and even the room itself. Ultimately some of the fundamentals of everyday math are being researched and practically used by young children.
5) By having a separate playroom, the opportunity arise to keep bedrooms for its primary purpose, to rest and sleep in. I do not suggest that toys and play should be banned from this space completely. However I do support the neurological studies suggesting that the brain will create a certain pattern according to repetitive behaviour. When keeping play free, but mostly separated from the sleeping area, a child’s brain will quickly recognize that it is either time to play or time to rest. These are two very important life-skills too often overlooked and not be taken seriously.
6) Play is serious business to children…
This is the time when they find out more about themselves and others than you may think. This is the time when they try and test their own little theories. This is the time when they fail and succeed and learn to handle these feelings alone or amongst others. This is when children practice verbal and non-verbal communication. When they express their thoughts and opinions. It presents opportunity to negotiate roles and practice role-play. This is the time when boredom could turn into inventive behaviour. This is the way they do serious RESEARCH.
7) This is a good solution to social- and screen detox. It is no secret that we all struggle to keep ourselves and our children connected in a more natural and social way. Intentional playrooms will provide children with many elements they will need to get creative, inventive and inspired. The more time they happily spend there, the more they will want to and even expand their exploration beyond the borders of this room. Screen-time will become secondary pleasure and your children are free from social media pitfalls like cyberbullying and a platform for developing bad self-esteem for instance. This could open up a whole new world to you and your children.
Do you feel the excitement of possibility? Intentional playrooms can indeed be a wonderful advantage in your home.
Happy playroom creation to all!
Follow Lania @content_kids