We’ve mentioned Playworks before and their great Games Guide. Playworks is a big proponent of free play. What does free play mean? It’s playtime for kids that isn’t rigidly scheduled with activities or closely supervised by adults. In free play or organized play, kids can choose their activities.
So what’s so great about free play? Playworks, and many other groups and teachers, believe that free play teaches kids essential life skills, like negotiation, cooperation, and leadership. Just giving kids options for activities as opposed to planning their activities for them can help nurture these skills.
Playworks coaches encourage free play during recess. They play alongside children, demonstrating healthy play, while teaching kids to take charge and resolve conflicts on their own, or use rock-paper-scissors to make decisions.
Using these strategies at home is easy! Work with your kids on talking through decisions with their friends, teach them use the Playworks rock-paper-scissors approach or try some of the other Playworks strategies. Also, try to give your kids some time to just hang out with friends and invent their own games!
(Image courtesy of Playworks)