How Free Playtime Impacts Mental Health

How Free Playtime Impacts Mental Health

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Author: Austin Stanfel

When you think about free playtime as a kid, you may remember how nice it was to have that break in between learning. These days, with the competitive nature of schooling, it seems as though people forget just how vital free playtime is for children. The reality is that free playtime can be highly beneficial to kids, not just for their academic needs but also for their mental health. Reading on, you can learn how great free playtime is for your child’s mental health.

Understanding the Power of Play

The first thing to address here is just how powerful play is for kids. Children need to develop various skills to maximize their development and manage the toxic stress that can easily overwhelm them. Much research done here shows that developmentally appropriate play with their parents and other children is a significant opportunity to promote cognitive language, self-regulation, and social-emotional skills. These skills are essential for building executive function and the prosocial brain.

Play is also essential because it helps form a safe, nurturing, and stable relationship between the child and their parents or caregivers. These are relationships that are so important to help the child thrive.

How Free Playtime Impacts Mental Health

There is an alarming trend in reducing the amount of playtime. The same experts that have dedicated their time to this subject warn that this trend of less playtime can ultimately be very unhealthy for kids. These experts are instead promoting the requirement of this free time for kids of every age. The fact is that there are plenty of benefits of this free playtime that you may not even be able to see, which makes it easier to overlook these benefits.

You can find a variety of emotional, cognitive, and developmental benefits for increasing one’s playtime that can be extremely important for children’s overall health. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) created a report that clearly explains how and why children play with their parents and caregivers is essential to building the thriving brain, social, and body bonds. To keep play a significant part of one’s childhood, pediatricians will likely start advising parents to look for quality child care or preschool programs that emphasize play as an approach to learning.


Play is so crucial to helping children grow into happy, creative, curious, and healthy adults. Finding ways to encourage play in your child’s life can make a significant impact in their life. You want to give your children the best chance of success in the future, which is why you often prioritize education overplay. But the reality is that play is crucial to children’s success because it teaches them essential cognitive, physical, emotional, and social skills. It would help if you never underestimate the power of play. Free playtime should be a priority for parents and other caregivers, teaching children the essential skills they need in a fun way.

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