Today, February 1st is Global School Play Day, aimed at raising awareness about the necessity of unstructured play. February 4, 2015, was the first annual Global School Play Day where over 65,000 students participated from around the world. Over 277,000 kids are expected to celebrate Global School Play Day in 2017.
As busy parents, educators and caregivers, we sometimes forget the benefits and importance of free play for kids and even adults. Unstructured play teaches children problem-solving, relationship building, conflict resolution and even emotional intelligence. Peter Gray's TEDx Talk compellingly summarizes the impact of the decline in play and how we can help bring free play back to our homes and communities.
What should you do on Global School Play Day?
Ditch the screen and gadgets and play all day. This is a day of unstructured play. Allow your kids to spread their toys out around the room or take the kids outside and just PLAY!
- Don't organize anything for your kids.
- Don't tell them how to play with the toys/games.
- Don't instruct or interfere with their play. Resist the temptation to organize, discipline, and teach.