It’s Play Time

Yeaaah! Cool!

Perhaps that’s the reaction of children when teachers or parents allow them to finally play after long hours to study. When children are still in Playgroup or Kindergarten, most parents agree that their world is a playground. So, theirpalying time is not limited. And then, as they start to enter Elementary school, parents often receive negative comments or critics.

Indeed in the Elementary level, children’s cognitive skill starts to develop, andthey are pushed to comprehend about sciences and be able to do fundamental skills such as reading or writing. During that time, perhaps parents highlight children’s achievements. Along with that, children’s schedule is preoccupied with homeworks and other tasks from teachers.

Back to the main topicabout playing: Do children still need time to play, and is it useful for them? Most parents complaint that their children only want to play and cannot concentrate when studying. But, is ittrue?

Before we answer, let’s find out first what does it mean by playing? According to Webster Dictionary,one of the meanings of the word play is the conduct, course, or action of a game. Through playing, with or without children realize it, they couldalso learn many things, depending on what kind of games they are playing. Besides that, children can naturally absorb new lessons when they feel relaxed and experience cheerful feelings when they play.

We can divide a game into several kinds: from the number of players (social or individual game); is it active or passive game; an imagination or a play; and a game that involves thinking, etc. Through all of those games, children can hone their kinesthetic and cognitive skills by planning, analyzing, or troubleshooting. Their capacity to socialize is also built through some group games.

Children acquire the opprotunities to learn simple yet essential values in their early age, such as how to share with friends, be patient to wait for something, to make a fun game for all the players or contestants, be open to receive losses or defeats, able to tolerate or emphatize, etc. Those examples of basic lessons are not only be useful for their ability to interact with others, but also good enough for their personalities development.

Having said all that, we now know that playing is not just a time to have fun without purpose or a mere useless activity. However, in the more modern cities nowadays, children have less places to play, and less opportunities to be active and social.

The way children play nowadays are shifting into games that need only passive interaction and becoming more into games that uses electronic stuff. Those electronic gadgets can indeed sharpen children’s cognitive, knowledge, and kinesthetic skills. However, those things will limit the spaces for children to be social and active individuals.

What’s more is that most of these electronic devices are serving lots and fast stimulusin only seconds, which can impact children to be less concentrate and easily feel an ennui in facing slow phase and long tempo tasks like reading, writing, or memorizing something, etc.

So, do children still need time to play? Yes, of course they do, even though they also still need to learn at school.

We as parents can start to make a schedule for our children: what time and how long they suppose take their study time and their time to play? It must be balanced. We also should be able to organize their time so that they would not only be focusing too much on their academics, but also in a spare time for them to play, to be active and social as their personalities develop.

We can also enrich their cognitive with games that can equip their cognitive, cooperation, and communication skills such as riding bikes together, playing monopoly, playing as students and teachers, even playing traditional games, or simply reading books and playing riddles, etc.

All in all, we need to lead and participate with childrenwhen they playbecause it is good for them. And surely we can be closer with our children, and they can learn many things from us like in how to face something or solve problems in life, all through games.

Diana, M. Psi.
IPEKA Counseling

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