“It sometimes takes a good 45 minutes before children get into ‘deep play,’ This is the sort of play where children start creating their own games and their own rules.” –Angela Hanscom, pediatric occupational therapist, founder of TimberNook
Soccer practice, art class, playdate outings – the lives of children today (especially school-age children) can quickly fill up with structured activities organized by adults, leaving no time for deep play. We get it, life is busy! So go ahead and schedule that playdate, but once your children are together with their friends, step back and give them lots of time and space to play. Don’t plan activities. Don’t try to entertain them. Whatever you do, don’t step in to “save” them from boredom.
If you have younger children who require supervision, simply observe your children as they play. Don’t interfere (unless you need to for safety reasons). You might be amazed by what happens.
Remember your favorite play activities from step 1? We bet there weren’t any adults around when you were doing your favorite thing! Think about this and, in age-appropriate ways, give children their freedom.