The Genius of Play Kicks Off Play All May
With parents these days under more pressure than ever to ensure that their kids grow up to be successful adults, many kids are often overscheduled and juggling a million activities both in and outside of school, which creates a lot of stress and leaves very little downtime to relax and play. This is why The Genius of Play, a nonprofit initiative spearheaded by The Toy Association, is kicking off Play All May, the first-ever month-long celebration of play created to educate families about the benefits of play.
EverydayFamily’s Shiloh Johnson spoke to Toy Association’s Adrienne Appel. She told us all about The Genius of Play and this fun celebration. See the full interview here:
Appel explained that the Genius of Play initiative was created to remind parents and caregivers about the importance of unstructured play. These days we tend to be overscheduled. And at the end of the day, we’re not all making time for unstructured play where our kids can just relax.
Appel added that the Toy Association likes to talk about helping kids develop emotional skills through play. Playing with baby dolls and stuffed animals helps children develop emotional skills. Maybe your child comforts a doll because she’s scared of the thunderstorm outside. Or perhaps the dinosaur and teddy bear are fighting and your child is mediating the fight between them. When children work through emotional scenarios in a safe space, they grow emotionally. Plus, parents can learn a lot about their children as they watch them play!
Then, try to set a good example for your children! Get off of your device and get involved in the play, whether you’re a part of playtime (even for a little bit) or you just set it up and facilitate it. It’s hard to tell kids to turn off the iPad or TV if you’re on your phone or computer at the same time.
When you can play together, that’s great. But of course, as we mentioned before, we all lead pretty busy lives these days. So schedule some play time for you! If we know we have time scheduled for it on the calendar it will happen! Carve out 15 minutes, play a guessing game in the car, put on a princess crown while you cook, or dress up silly when you walk in the house to surprise them! Your children will love the effort you make and have so much fun with you.
Have fun, parents, and Play All May!