The Photo Gallery 215: Play. Are we letting our children play enough?

discovering ice

children and ice

I read an interesting article recently about giving our children the time and space to play.
It was written in response to calls by the government last year to increase the amount of time children spend in school to up their studying time and so increase their exam scores.
In the article, the author stated:

Most problems in life cannot be solved with formulae or memorised answers of the type learnt in school. They require the judgement, wisdom and creative ability that come from life experiences. For children, those experiences are embedded in play.

And what about now my children are older; brushing shoulders with teendom? I think play is more important than ever.
I recall years ago speaking with a dad whose four year old was in another room with just a box of Lego and two small cardboard boxes. He was there for ages, creating something or other, clearly lost in the moment and happily speaking to himself as though he were looking for inspiration from the room around him.
The dad said: “Look at him, don’t you think that’s the saddest thing you ever saw? He plays like that all the time.”
I didn’t say it but I thought to myself, screamed to myself, NO. I think it’s amazing that your boy is happy to go off and create and entertain himself with a game he’s totally made up himself.

Anyway, I digress. I personally believe that in order to be happy, productive, moral adults our kids should climb trees, play in rivers, break the ice on puddles with sticks, play British Bulldog, run around in the long grass behind the cricket pavilion. Basically take a few risks.
I think they shouldn’t be showered with ‘things to do’ but left to invent things for themselves.
Give two kids a large cardboard box and a box of crayons and see what they come up with. Their imaginations will run wild and I am constantly amazed at how creative they can be.
That right there is the beauty of children.

The skills children need to learn in order to be happy individuals in the future cannot be taught in school. They are learned through play: The ability to think creatively, being able to get along with others, being part of a team, learning to compromise, negotiate, being able to control their emotions, thinking around things, solving problems.

This post is for week 215 of The Photo Gallery: The theme is: Play.

Now it’s your turn to link up your post and join in. If you’re new here and want to know what the Photo Gallery feature is, go and read all about it, and then come right back and join in!

Here’s how to join in

Take a photo using the theme I’ve given as your inspiration. There are no rules and you can interpret the theme any way you like.

Now share your photo. Write a blog post using your photo. You can write as many or as few words as you choose, but you should use your photo as the inspiration. You don’t even need to use a new photo; it can be something from your archives. Just a photo which you think represents the prompt.

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 Add a link to your post using the linky tool below. The linky stays open until Tuesday so you have plenty of time to join in.

Now go visit as many of the other entries as you can. Leave a comment, discover new blogs, discover new ways of taking photos and maybe share any tips you have. It’s about going out and encouraging each other.

The Photo Gallery isn’t about taking technically brilliant photos. You can take them on your phone, your point and shoot or your fancy pants camera. It’s about having a passion for photos, wanting to better yourself and discovering what other bloggers are doing.

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23 Responses to The Photo Gallery 215: Play. Are we letting our children play enough?

  1. LauraCYMFT says:

    I love your thinking Tara; play is so important for children. Not only is it great for their minds, development and learning but I think it keeps them young and innocent. It keeps them as children for the time they are supposed to be children. Lovely photos.

  2. Mike Motto says:

    I couldn’t agree more! One of the most important aspects of growing up is simply being a kid and playing – and not just organized sports or activities, either. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids just lost in thought, making things up, using their imaginations. I actively encourage it with my kids. Put the phones/computers/video games down and just go play with toys. Make stuff up. Create a game using your imagination. Usually they do!
    Mike Motto recently posted…Football Stadiums and the Surrounding Neighborhoods in Tallinn, Estonia (Photos)My Profile

  3. Mummy Barrow says:

    So true about allowing children to play. I am with you on that one. I also think that children these days dont get enough time to just stare out of a window and day dream.

    Loved your pics.

  4. Expat Mum says:

    I was thinking about this the other day as my 11 year old listed the five different homework topics he had one night, all for the next day. Why do kids have to come home and continue doing school work? Why aren’t we satisfied with what we can teach them in one day? I get that they need to practise every new concept they learn, but why does so much of this have to be done at home? My son does very little outside of the home at the moment (drum and piano lesson once a week). I don’t know how he would fit in team practices and games of any sort and I’m quite glad he’s not interested. His preferred entertainment, – reading and making up stories.
    Expat Mum recently posted…Working from Home – the reality.My Profile

  5. Pingback: {captured} Play | mascara & mud

  6. Cerys says:

    I loved reading this and totally agree. It’s good for the soul too…take it from someone who has smeared mud on their face and joined in with the army game or whatever it is they are playing!
    Cerys recently posted…{captured} PlayMy Profile

  7. Susan Mann says:

    Lovely post and fully agree. I loved having the snow here and seeing the kids just get out pick up snow, feel it, throw it and build with it. Incredible to watch. More should be like this. x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Play – The Gallery 215My Profile

  8. I also can’t emphasis strongly enough how Guiding (and Scouting) enables exactly that but in an environment that takes the worry off parents that can’t ‘manage to facilitate’ the play. It is affordable and leaves a life long good in the children that join. We put them in wellies, send them up trees, do junk modelling, glitter, painting, sticky crafts, food fun, outdoor cooking, large scale modelling (pioneering), trekking, camping …. The list is endlessly!

  9. HelpfulMum says:

    A lot of my dissertation (on childhood obesity) focused on children and the absence of outdoor play in their lives. Many of the parents I surveyed said they wouldn’t even let their children play in their own garden unsupervised. I was shocked at the results. There is some wonderful literature on children and play.
    HelpfulMum recently posted…The Photo Gallery – PlayMy Profile

  10. Love this theme. We don’t do as much playing as we should now the boys are at school thanks for the reminder! x
    Louise Edwards recently posted…The Gallery: Play #thegalleryMy Profile

  11. Molly says:

    I totally agree, very little of what children need to learn to be healthy productive adults actually comes from the classroom and the last place they need to spend more time is there

    Molly recently posted…Day 28 – The TeamMy Profile

  12. Sarah says:

    That first photograph is prize worthy! It’s a spectacular image that totally sums up the wonderful creative learning that happens through play. Love this post.

  13. I didn’t join in, because I had neither suitable photos nor the right words in my head, but I totally agree! I think kids are more over-scheduled and given more guided activities now than they were even when mine were little. My kids have always been left on their own to play – indoors and outdoors. They got their guided activities at school and nursery. At home they had each other, the garden, their toys and their imaginations. It has served them well.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Review: Komodo mathsMy Profile

  14. Pingback: Oval Eyes | Firasz Photography

  15. Firasz says:

    Beautiful & lovely shots 🙂


  16. teacuptoria says:

    Oh Tara I love this post as it’s something I’m really passionate about. Kids learn through play and it’s the best way for them to learn. End of! Even though Seb is 9 he still gets out his Playmobil and figures now and again and plays for ages on his own or in the bath. He lets his imagination run wild and it’s the most magical thing int he world to see. I
    I’m going to have a go at sharing your post on my FB page!
    teacuptoria recently posted…To hope with all your heart…My Profile

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