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Get off Facebook and find a real, live person to hang out with!

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 No Comments

Yes, I have said these very words to my 13 year old.  They are the modern day echo of my parents’ directives to “Get off the phone!”  My brothers, sister and I understood that this was code for “walk down the block and DO SOMETHING with your friends”.

Researchers actually have been studying play and its potential benefits.  They contend that unstructured play reduces stress as well as waistlines.  Pretend play develops the ability to think abstractly.  Further, it makes children more socially competent as it allows them to explore different roles and practice personal interactions.

Play is not just for kids!  Adults surely can reap the benefits of stress reduction, exercise and practice problem solving.  They can model positive behaviors for the children around them.  Most importantly, they can enjoy richer relationships with their children because they have learned to “speak the language”.

Play is especially important for families whose children have developmental disabilities.  Learning to “speak the language” is often vastly more difficult for these parents and children.  Play can provide the bridge that facilitates communication.

Future posts will delve more deeply into the science of play.  In the meantime, we’re going down the block to see if anyone is up for a game of kick-the-can.


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