Play is important to children.  Structured play is different than free play. It’s more organised and happens at a fixed time or in a set space, and is often led by a grown-up.

Examples of structured play include:

  • water familiarisation classes for toddlers, or swimming lessons for older children – you might see these as being important lessons for your child, but she might just think they’re fun
  • storytelling groups for toddlers and preschoolers at the local library
  • dance, music or drama classes for children of all ages
  • family board or card games
  • modified sports for slightly older children, such as T-Ball, Community Soccer, no-contact football, and street hockey.

Sometimes structured playtime becomes overly competitive.  This is something I struggle with.  I like my child to be in structured activities but sometimes I find the parents become too controlling and they drive their child to be competitive.  This takes the carefree spirit out of play and adds stress to the child.

If you have your child in organized sports, be sure to encourage play for the sake of play and don’t inflict adult rules such as winning on them.  :0)

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