Should Playgroups be Structured?

Some playgroups like to structure their time. Some moms enjoy planning activities and learning opportunities while others appreciate the time to chill, watch the kids play, but otherwise stay out of their way and have some “mom time.” Which is better? It’s not really a matter of better, but there is something to be said for unstructured play. Scienceblogs.com recently featured an article based on a study published Development Psychology. The study found that unstructured playgroups found a surge of imagination, exploration, and creative thinking far more than the structured playgroups that were observed in the study.

According to a 2007 study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers at the University of Washington, playing helps with language development. Free play or “empty time” allows a child to find how they enjoy playing and this can lead to understanding how your child learns.

You can also “lead” unstructured play by offering a setting or objects to play with and then sitting back and allowing the children to figure out what they’d like to do.

Suggestions:

- Have a Lego Day. Combine everyone’s Legos (might want to leave those very special pieces at home and know how many you came with). See what the kids come up with—restrain from trying to get them to make a rocket ship—let them figure it out how to problem solve.

- Have a cookie or cupcake decorating party and let the kids design their own cupcake combinations.

- Host a fruit and veggie art party. Bring those digital cameras and let the kids create their own edible art.

- Create “nature” art. Gather pinecones, wildflowers, and plain old weeds and let the kids come up with table settings and home art you can take home and decorate your house with.

- Host a dress-up day. Bring costumes, hats, purses, and props and combine all your pieces into a giant dress up box. Let the kids mix and match and come up with their own crazy combinations.

The key is to not “mommy-fy” the play by trying to lead it yourself. Offer the children the objects to create with and then “mum’s da word!” Encourage the other moms not to interfere. Let the kids work out their own squabbles. And try to not to be a hover-mother. Don’t sit in a circle and stare at the kids while they play. No one enjoys being started at. Get into your own conversations and allow your children as much freedom as is safe.

Playing is one of (if not the best parts) of childhood. Do your best to stay out of your children’s way and let them enjoy themselves wholeheartedly.

Views: 2

Tags: babies, baby, dads, dates, groups, infant, moms, play, playgroups, toddlers

Comment

You need to be a member of Mom Bloggers Club to add comments!

Join Mom Bloggers Club

12/27/14 DAILY BLOG PROMPT

A SPECIAL GREETING FROM FRAN DRESCHER

MOM BLOGGERS FOR SOCIAL GOOD

Mom Bloggers for Social Good is a global coalition of 2000+ mom bloggers who currently span over twenty countries and who care about spreading the good news about the amazing work non-profit organizations and NGOs are doing around the world.  Want to make a difference? Please join us!

Toxic Free Blog - by Brittany Glynn


Brittany is a director of the Toxic Free Foundation and created the first ever Toxic Free Certification Program.  Weekly, Brittany publishes the Toxic Free Blog and provides coaching to over 10,000 families in the United States alone.  She is the author of a Toxic Free educational series and co-author of several Toxic Free learning programs. Brittany is also an award winning author. 

© 2014   Created by Mom Bloggers Club.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service