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  • Writer's pictureTodd R. Hepworth

Children Need More Play




They're college students, now. Sixteen years ago, I was their Kindergarten teacher. I loved observing their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development when they were engaged in play.


When I was in elementary school in the early 1970s, I had 30 minutes of recess in the morning, 60 minutes for lunch and recess, and 30 minutes of recess in the afternoon. I loved recess because I got to determine for myself how to use my time.


Now, recess in elementary school is half that time or less. And the school days are longer. And there are more school days in the year. Which means that for most of their waking hours, children's lives are planned and directed by somebody else. They have precious little self-determination.


There's an unmistakable correlation between the amount of control we have in our life and our level of anxiety.


For children, more free play = less anxiety.

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