Up on the list of reasons why people might homeschool is the fact that in the early years of public school time for play has diminished. Not only is play not emphasized and encouraged as a way of learning, but even recess has been cut to almost non existent levels! Children need to play, and play is learning!
Active Play as Part of Your Homeschool
What is active play? Active play is physical activity with spontaneous and occasional bursts of high energy. It can occuer indoors or out, alone or with others.
Why is active play important?Active play is important for your child’s health, growth and development. Regular activity and play has many benefits for children. These include:
• building strong hearts, muscles and bones. • fostering social interaction skills.
• developing movement and co-ordination. • improving thinking skills.
• encouraging self-esteem. • developing emotional skills.
What does all this mean? It means less time for children to play and explore, and more time to sit at a desk and drone on. It means limiting their creativity in favor of pushing them into molds. It has been proven that active play increases brain activity. Physical movement and learning go hand and hand! Researches have found that adding in half an hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with symptoms of ADHD become more focused and less antsy.
When you homeschool you have the freedom to conduct your day as you see fit. To customize your time not only to your family, but to each child. I encourage you to let them play! Include hands on activities and movement not only in their playtime, but in their learning time too!
Allow kids to move while learning. Not all kids can just sit still, nor should they be made to. Check out this article for ideas on Learning With A Wiggly Child. Also be sure to add in time for free and active play!
Examples of active play:
- jumping jacks
- obstacle courses
- playground time
- galloping, skipping, etc.
- ball throwing
- walking, running
- bicycle riding
- trampoline jumping
- jump rope
- hop scotch