Remember the days of playing in your yard or the neighbourhood? At the time, you probably weren't aware that time spent with your friends, making up games, playing with dolls, as well as running around and rough-housing with your friends was preparing you for life. School, sports, academics, and even the workforce benefited considerably from this kind of play.
How the Internet Affects Childhood
Today, children have far more opportunities when it comes to creativity and play than in years past thanks to the internet. But along with these opportunities, there are concerns regardingtoo much screen time versus opportunities for a child to play by themselves or with friends, as well as opportunities for a child to go outside and get physical.
Because there are entire virtual worlds that kids can dive into these days, there is a fear that they are no longer playing and being children. These ready virtual worlds could be limiting their ability to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to lead them into careers and disciplines that thrive from critical thinking, such as fields in medicine, engineering, and design.
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Limiting Internet Access
When you begin to limit internet access, you are allowing your children to experience their childhood without the limitations of passive entertainment.
We know that young children need physical, social, and emotional development to ensure their future well-being as adults. As parents, we fear that the internet may become an unhealthy obsession for our children, causing them to miss out on fundamental childhood developments.
Instead, a childhood full of playing will build active and healthy bodies and minds for children. They will learn to work with other children, sharing, negotiating, and resolving conflicts, as well as learning self-advocacy. The ability for children to interact with children of different ages is essential. Learning from older children and helping the younger children themselves opens up new opportunities for growth and development.
Remember when a stick became a sword, and a trash can lid became a shield? How kids can craft boxes into a castle. How fingerpaint allows for wonderfully imaginative expressions. And the delight in their eyes at a completed mud pie (always served up with a smile!). When encouraged to play in this way, children will develop skills that will carry them through school and beyond.
What about organized sports? How do they fit in with helping my child to take his or her place in the world? Do they play a role? Baseball, football, soccer and other team sports can be great for developing much needed social skills, cooperation, and exercise.
Music lessons are great as well and can help in the development of math skills and critical thinking, as well as your child's motor skills. But as parents, we need to be careful that organized sports, music lessons, and other extracurricular activities do not replace your child's free time and interfere with their childhood development.
As parents, when our children are born, we imagine all the things that they might grow up to be: an astronaut, a doctor, a lawyer, maybe even the President. We want our children to be world changers. And if it's world changers we want, we need to give them all the opportunities we can for them to develop their minds through childhood play.
Lottie & Friends can help in the outside adventures!
The internet is a fantastic resource, allowing children to become more independent in regards to learning. The amount of information available on the internet is mind-blowing. But the internet should be treated as merely a tool for kids to enhance what they already have.
There's still a place for childhood play, which is something the internet can aid in developing, but will never be able to replace.