Simple toys, unstructured play, one-on-one time with parents promote children’s healthy development.
A new American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report focused on the critical role of unstructured play for children. “Dr. Milteer maintains that a child who plays with simple toys and games learns to develop creativity, resilience, and the ability to get along with others.” Her message carries special importance for a generation of children to whom iPads, iPods, PlayStation, Wii, and robotic toys has become a norm.
“Parents of all income levels should use time together at home to engage in both free and structured play with their children,” the report states.
Playtime is bonding time for families.
Examples of simple, creative play include hopscotch games, bike riding, jump rope, horseshoe, hide and seek. (The importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bond: Focus on Children in Poverty. Pediatrics. 2012;129:e204-e213)