The Case for Unstructured Play Time

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With Spring settling in slowly, I find myself thinking about the different activities, experiments, and anything outdoors I can plan for the kids. But after having cleared the house for a Spring cleaning, I had this big moment where I had to sit (for once) and stop myself. Sometimes you just need to let children play.

I read this article this morning on the Smithsonian website about a study showing that children at play are like scientists, and thought it was so logical. 

There is something to be said for being organized and having things prepared ahead of time in the home environment, so when the kids get home from school you get to enjoy them instead of focusing on house chores and other daily activities. I much prefer to have frozen dinners, have the cleaning done, laundry done, activities and crafts ideas planned, etc. But it's not always possible when you're not a stay-at-home mom. Which is why I usually plan in advance what the kids and I will do (especially for the weekends), taking the seasons into consideration. 

Then there is the school environment, where this applies more. I'm a Montessori Mom, so my planning of activities is more like planting nudges for them to explore what they are curious about within a safe environment. To me it's just logical to let kids explore. But I don't find this in most schools. If anything I have been scared by this need for testing young kids so much. Their attention is now solely focused on how they will do on a piece of paper. 

I wonder, is it better to offer more unstructured play time for the kids to discover the world for themselves? 

What do you all think? Do you have strong opinions on play time? Do you plan your kid's activities or leave them to create their own play?

(Image: Emmett's Sweet Sustainable Space

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Family, Parenting

Severine is a Montreal-based electronic music composer and writer. Mother of two super heroes, she can be spotted roaming around the many local festivals, running after these small city defenders.

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