The Importance of Play in the Tech Era

 

It has become normal in our rushed lives to see small children in restaurants, malls and even at birthday parties playing on phones or tablets. Nowadays parents prefer to buy their children technology to keep them busy and ‘happy’.

I can see why it makes sense to parents to buy their child a tablet instead of toys…they don’t take up a lot of space, they don’t create a big mess and they are easy to take with wherever you go. BUT there are a lot of negatives linked to screen time. Screen time have been linked to behaviour, weight and sleep issues in children. It also impacts their social and emotional development negatively. Research also now suggests that children can get addicted to screen time. Children who are used to getting a lot of screen time every day, play a lot less that children who don’t rely on technology so much.

According to the American Academy of Paediatrics children before the age of two should not be allowed ANY screen time. After two they should not be allowed more than 1-2 hours of screen time per day. Little to no screen time is the ultimate goal for any child before the age of 6. It is very important to realise that screen time cannot replace play.

Play is a very important part of growing up and developing age appropriately. Children learn as they play. They create, plan, manipulate, engage, interact, experience and imagine while playing. Most importantly they enjoy to play. Children make wonderful discoveries when they are allowed to use their imagination as well as their whole body and mind to play.

Dr. Melody De Jager says: “Play is a fun way of learning without the pressure to perform.” Your child only has a limited amount of time to be a child, let him/her PLAY!

Never underestimate the importance of toys that challenge your child to explore, imagine, think, talk, make choices and solve problems. And NEVER allow technology to replace toys and play.

View some of the educational toys that Clever Little Monkey has curated for you.

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