Have our children forgotten how to play?In integrated listening systems, neurological treatment, sensory learning program, speech therapy
As we continue to grow as a society, we see fantastic new software, games and TV commercials displaying the “next best thing” for our children. Toy stores are larger then they have ever been. I walked through Walmart a few months ago looking for gifts for my little nieces and nephew: smorgasbord of absolutely nothing imaginative, no delayed gratification type activities that allows for imaginative play.
Yes there are bits of lego, baby dolls and coloring activities, but everything is staged and guided. When you watch children try to play with these toys, the play is static and TV-like. Children mimic what they see – therefore our children are practicing what they see, focusing on preconceived adult ideas on how we sell to the masses through the media.
Yes quite a rant, but this is filtering into how our children are learning coping skills, academics and activities of daily living. A child’s occupation is play. Through play, they learn to problem solve, how to interact with others, who to trust, and who they are as little people. Without imaginative, interactive play, children struggle to develop the constructs and foundational building blocks necessary to become “whole” human beings. As therapists we are seeing intelligent, little people who are missing pieces of these puzzles – we have names for it too – Autism, ADHD, ADD and so on. That’s not to say that children don’t really have these issues, they do, but how we are addressing them and teaching them is definitely an issue.