Yesterday morning, while walking my dog, I headed to a neighborhood park. Keep in mind, it was before 9:00 AM. I saw that the tennis courts were crowded with little children wielding tennis racquets that were bigger than themselves! These were little children (4 and 5 year olds). The nannies and SAHParents were perched on the bleachers either watching their future Wimbledon Champions try heroically to hit the yellow orbs sailing in their direction, or studying their I-Phones.
The playground that sits at the other side of the park was virtually empty. This scenario left me asking "Where has unscheduled play gone? Where has imaginative, inventive, creative play gone? Why are there no groups of children recklessly playing on the expensive playground equipment, but instead, seriously facing the challenge of developing their tennis game?"!
Please parents, hear my call. Relax! Let your kids be kids. Let them giggle and be silly and hook them up with other children to JUST play. The benefits are well documented.
Read this article from Psychology Today if you doubt my opinion:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201206/free-play-is-essential-normal-emotional-development