There is absolutely no doubt that a holistic schooling experience with a balance of academic, sport and extra-curricular activities is essential for all-round development. However, free or idle time is equally important. Children may feel burdened with the constant hectic learning schedule that parents create. Multiple activities are regulated into a structured schedule and the idea of free play is gradually seeming to vanish. So, the important question is, while parents believe that a scheduled day is designed to help their child, they must step back and question, whether it’s really swamping this generation of young learners instead.
A back to back routine of school, tuitions, special lessons of sports or arts or music, etc. often leads to a child developing stress and anxiety, which may even lead to depression on occasion. Children with busy structured play schedules may fall behind at school, complain of headaches or stomach aches and feel tired frequently. Additionally, families who feel children must be involved in many activities, often feel the stress and exhaustion of keeping up with these structured schedules themselves.
Although an engaged child can be a blessing to its parents, it significantly affects scholars and their families. Asking the learner what makes them happy, is the first step towards establishing a sense of comfort and relaxation. It is critical for parents and teachers to allocate an appropriate amount of time for leisure activities that not only relaxes the curious mind but also excites them. Unstructured and free play, allows young learners to build their imagination and explore things around them.
If a child is playing and establishing his/her own objective then it is called unstructured play. In a time where many parents struggle with their hectic schedules, it’s good to remember the importance of free time. Some of the best interactions between parents and kids occur during downtime—just talking, preparing meals together, and working on a hobby or art project, playing sports together, or being fully immersed in a child-driven and a child-centered playtime.
Their growing years are rather short, eventually, children become adults and get into routines which don’t allow them to just be children! While schedules create discipline, self-regulated free playtime creates memories!