Doctors say kids need chances for play

.". what today's children need is time to use their imaginations in playing with "true toys" such as blocks and dolls. ..left to their own devices, children can tap into their own creativity, develop problem-solving skills, learn to relate to others and discover their own passions."

The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged parents to lighten their children's loads and give them more time to just … be kids.


WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY? (sung by Cat Stevens)

In a recent report, the AAP said packed schedules and a fast-paced lifestyle can create stress for children and parents and cause depression in some kids. The report noted that play is recognized as a "right" by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.

..that right is often neglected when parents focus on giving their children all the "advantages" they hope will ensure success in school and life. (The report focused on middle-class children; the AAP plans a separate report on less advantaged children.)

The pediatricians' report said that what today's children need is time to use their imaginations in playing with "true toys" such as blocks and dolls. Unstructured playtime can be just as beneficial as the enrichment programs, videos and computer games designed to give children an academic edge from babyhood on. The AAP report notes that left to their own devices, children can tap into their own creativity, develop problem-solving skills, learn to relate to others and discover their own passions.

Another plus for play: Encouraging children to get outdoors and play is particularly important today, given the epidemic of childhood obesity that owes as much to inactivity as it does to the wrong choice of foods.

From: Rocky Mountain News -Ask Dr. Weil

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