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Elementary Playdates- A Vital Activity

by YPI Editors | October 11th, 2016 | Elementary, Social
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boys-playing-catchThe term playdate is a modern term. Even just thirty years ago, children just played with the other children in their neighborhood. Walk down the street, knock on the door, go outside and play, repeat. Sure, it still happens, but more likely than not, playing with a friend involves some scheduling between parents. Blame it on the sprawl of suburbia, changes in family structure, or whatever you want, but playing with friends is no longer as simple as it used to be.

Looking at today’s kids, it seems to be more challenging to find free time for playing with friends. There’s soccer practice for team 1 on Monday, a soccer game for team 2 on Tuesday, guitar lessons on Wednesday, a soccer game for team 1 on Thursday, and a soccer practice for team 2 on Friday. Never mind that there may be religious ed classes, practice for the school play, and other activities. Add homework, dinnertime, and any other pieces to the evening routine, and it can be difficult to find time for friends.

However, playing with friends is a crucial part of your child’s day. You know how you look forward to get-togethers with your friends for a coffee or a drink? Your child has that same need to socialize. It’s good for your son to have a friend over and play whatever they want without the structure of school. He may have time at recess to see his friend, but that’s with all of their classmates present; they don’t get the same amount of privacy/freedom to talk and play as they’d like.

In addition to having extra time with a friend, having an unscheduled afternoon is good for your child. When her afternoons are filled with structure every day of the week, it can be stressful. Again, as an adult, don’t you look forward to an evening in which you get to come home from work and just spend time with your spouse? Your child probably feels this way also. Sure, she likes the soccer team, but she also likes playing a board game with her best friend and sharing secrets.

In modern times, we tend to push our kids to be overly scheduled. Enroll them in as many activities to fill the resume as possible, keep them busy from morning until night. Consider keeping at least one afternoon open for some friend time. You’ll have a happy child who will enjoy having an afternoon to breathe.

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