Why kids should have more unstructured playtime

Unstructured play is playing without any pre-determined rules of the game. It is a category of play in which children engage in open-ended play that has no specific learning objective. Unlike the structured play, here, there are no organized teams, uniforms, coaches, or trainers. So, it is absolutely student-led and does not have a particular strategy behind it. For example, you must have seen puppies chasing each other around a yard in endless circles or a group of kids play for hours in a fort they have created out of old packaging boxes.

In Childcare Monrovia, CA, kids spend a lot of time playing unstructured games. It is fun and also critically important for the development of children’s bodies and brains. One of the best ways to encourage unstructured playtime in young children is by providing them with open-ended toys or toys that can be used in multiple ways.

Benefits of unstructured playtime:

Have you ever wondered why it is free, structure playtime is so important for children? There are many reasons for it.
  • Free play is important for the little ones for the healthy development of their brain.
  • Unstructured play helps children learn how to work collaboratively; and also to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and self-advocacy skills.
  • When play is child-driven, they enhance their decision-making skills, move at their own pace, explore the areas of their interest on their own, and ultimately engage fully in the passions they wish to pursue.
  • When children are playing any organized sports, mostly controlled by adults, they have to follow strict rules and regulations. Moreover, they become more concerned about the objective of sports. But in free playtime, they have the freedom to set their own rule, think creatively, and develop leadership and teamwork skills.
  • In Childcare Monrovia, CA, through this playtime, children can socialize with other children and thus get opportunities to work on their communication and social skills.
  • Children feel free and relaxed when the game is child-driven. They don't have to take the pressure off of the objective.

Why children are not getting enough free playtime:

  • Nowadays, kids prefer to spend more and more time in front of screens and this leaves less time for unstructured play and other activities.
  • In today’s education system, the focus is more on structured activities. Instead of exploring the world during holidays, most of the kids go for holiday camps. And in such camps, there is an ever-growing focus on academic and enrichment activities.
  • These days family life seems so much busier, and with more parents working part or full time, it is no wonder structured activities are increasing in popularity. To help children get the most out of unstructured playtime, be sure to have enough age-appropriate materials, enough space, and plenty of time. In Childcare Monrovia, CA, some non-traditional items like hula hoops, juggling scarves, cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, blocks, a bucket of water, and sponge, etc are also used to encourage a preschooler to engage in a structured play.

    It is important to note that, unstructured play is not the same as an unsupervised play. Pre-schoolers should always be under the direct supervision of parents or teachers or their caregivers.