These past 10 days have been exhausting parenting-wise. Both our boys caught a stomach bug...something they've never had and I'm sure would be quite happy to never have again! But we know that won't happen!
During this time, however, I found occasions to sit back to observe them. Despite how crappy they must have felt, how little they'd eaten, (how poorly we'd all slept) they still wanted to play, albeit at a reduced activity level some of the time. Play matters, to kids and adults.
It matters to kids because they're having fun figuring out new things about themselves and the world around them. And it also matters to us as the adults in their lives. Why, you ask? Well, where do I begin?
Apart from the cognitive benefits, there are health benefits. Kids who are allowed to be kids and simply play for an hour a day have lower stress levels, lower cholesterol levels, lower levels of cardiovascular disease and on and on... healthier kids equals healthier adults!
Other factors that prevent kids from getting their daily sixty minutes of unrestricted play? Financial limitations and safety concerns. Some children live where it's not safe for them to be outside and even if they could be, the level of poverty in the area means there are no funds available to build parks, playgrounds, and similar areas.
There are a number of great organisations who work hard to ensure that kids have safe spaces to play and to help reduce roadblocks for this all-important time. One such organisation is Kaboom! Formed in 1995 they have just this year built their 3000th playground, improving the lives of millions of children. For more information on this great group of people, visit their website at https://kaboom.org/ perhaps you can volunteer your time or make a donation that will make all the difference for a group of kids.
If you follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (and if you aren't, get on it!) you'll see how often we emphasize the importance of #playmatters. It's an important movement and we feel everyone needs to be a part of it! Spread the word #playmatters!