Do your kids free play?
A recent NPR piece touted that "Old-fashioned play builds serious skills", and these serious skills are threatened by the decline in self-regulated play by many children. Researchers follow the (de-)evoluation of play, from an emphasis on free, improvised play in the first part of the 20th century to more guided, toy-/object-directed play in the second part. Improvised or self-guided play, researchers say, develops something called "executive function", an ability to control emotions and behavior. According to the NPR piece, "Poor executive function is associated with high dropout rates, drug use and crime."
I heard this on NPR, and as a mother of a child with possible Sensory Processing Issues, I found it extremely interesting. There are so many things that are "spelled out" for our children where their toys are concerned, that it isn't that surprising that self regulation is becoming a widespread issue. I'm interested to see what other parents feel about this issue?
Do you agree? Do you see this happening to our children? Do you have great ideas to promote [low toy] free play? Do you think it's not really an issue?