3.31.2013

whatever happened to building forts?

The article below sums up something that has been bothering me lately. I've talked before about how technology is changing the way kids interact with their peers. When I was little, I didn't have video games and (obviously) cell phones to distract me. The kids on the street played outside together. We ran, jumped, built forts, climbed trees, make up dumb games, played sports, played in the creek, spied on the neighbors with binoculars...you get the idea. We were creative, imaginative. 

I'm not saying that because kids have phones now they are not interacting with their peers, because they are. They are constantly chatting with them, whether through Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc., all day. I'm just saying it's different. It's not an active social environment. It's good for kids to play, not only for the obvious reasons like exercise being good for your health, but for simply the fresh air and the joy of being outside. 

It's funny because I had already written a portion of this post before Matt and I watched This is 40 today and they had a scene that really spoke to what I am saying. I'm not saying I won't let my kids play with iPads, iPhones, iMacs, etc. It's about getting to a point where you're not relying on it for entertainment and it's not the main focus of your day. I think that's the goal.

Children should be allowed to get bored  

So says education researcher Teresa Belton:

The academic, who has previously studied the impact of television and videos on children's writing, said: "When children have nothing to do now, they immediately switch on the TV, the computer, the phone or some kind of screen. The time they spend on these things has increased.
"But children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them."
It is this sort of thing that stimulates the imagination, she said, while the screen "tends to short circuit that process and the development of creative capacity."

To read the full article, click here.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I pray Myer likes building forts.