The Importance Of Unstructured Play

762 Words 4 Pages
Many studies have been made involving a children’s development, and apart from it being entertaining and cute, they make important contributions to the psychological and developmental understanding of a children. Unstructured play is performed in many ways and contexts such as in the backyard at home, recess time, friend’s house, with parents, to name some of the more common ones. A study concerning a child’s outdoor play in terms of the physical activity behaviour involved, shows higher physical activity level involved (Brown et al., 2009) of children who spend more of their time outdoors than those children who spend more of their time indoors (Hinkley, Crawford, Salmon, Okely & Hesketh, 2005). The way in which children acquire higher physical …show more content…
An additional positive impact of outdoor play is children’s social skills when they interact and communicate with other children (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005, p. 46). This builds their confidence and can add to their experiences so that in future reference they can use it when furthering their social skills onto others as they grow older. Another major context in which children resume unstructured play is recess or lunch time in the school environment. Recess contributes to the child’s creative, social, and emotional development, as this is their free time to choose whatever they like to do within the bounds of the schools conditions. Children at this time may learn valuable skills such as negotiation, cooperation, sharing and problem solving (Ramstetter, Murray & Garner, 2010, pp. 517-526). These are important to cognitive development as every day and continuous play in early childhood builds the foundation for mathematical calculation as the child experiments with shape, space, pattern and numbers in their environment (McCartney & Phillips, …show more content…
Interestingly t ties back to the original point that people want the best for children. It’s known that parents, and more often than not, mothers have a major influence to the child’s development. Based on this it can become very relative and subjective to the child who has no significant control over the matter. Ironically the only thing that the child does have a choice in is their unstructured play. It’s been studied that the mother’s beliefs about how a child ‘should’ be raised influence the child’s learning experiences (Fisher, Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff & Gryfe, 2008); therefore the mothers structure their child’s play experience. A second pertaining factor to limiting the child’s unstructured play is adult’s awareness and fear of the hazards in urban society (Chudacoff, 2007, p.215) so therefore understandably adults seek to protect their children from this. I use the word adults here including parents but not limited to as the child has experiences with many adults such as their teachers or other family members that are involved in the child’s experiences. Another worth noting factor and simple but reasonable factor is that it might be that the child does not have the same experiences and development as other more fortunate children. This may be a result of limited resources in the child’s environment particularly those children who come from less privileged homes or countries.

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