Back To School? Make Some Time for Free Play

Across the country, schools are about to reopen their doors for the Autumn Term and school will officially be back in session. As the lazy afternoons spent in the back garden, the beach or in local park turn back into hurried schedules filled with early starts, homework and extracurricular activities, we need to remember the importance of incorporating some time for free play into our kids daily lives.

Play and time outside is vital for children to digest what has been learnt in school and to do a different kind of learning. It is through play that children first learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self-control, and follow rules. Play gives children a chance to find and develop a connection to their own self-identified and self-guided interests. Children learn to handle their emotions, including anger and fear, during play. Play helps children make friends and learn to get along with each other as equals. Most importantly, play is a source of happiness.

However, limiting outdoor playgrounds to gross motor activities falls way short of the potential of outdoor areas to be rich play and learning environments for children. Music in a free-play environment, where it’s hands-on and interactive, will not only encourage children’s musical self-expression it will help self-confidence and self-esteem to grow and grow. Creating areas for music and sound exploration outdoors will help integrate music into the everyday experience of the children.

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