Ben Bartosik

February 10, 2024

"[North] American parents can become immune to just how rarely their children really play."

Reading a reflection this morning on how rarely parents let their kids just play, uninterrupted by adults and without screens, toys, or really even direction. The idea here is that real play is just pure imagination and environment. It's part of a growing conversation around the need for kids to engage in more 'risky play' time. It also could be seen as a direct reaction to the era of helicopter parenting we have been experiencing over the last decade or so.

One thing I really enjoyed about this particular reflection is the way it connected outdoor play with cultivating a love and concern for the natural world in kids. It notes how modern society tends to throw a book at every problem (something I'm definitely guilty of); but there is no replacement for simply being outside. The author writes, "[if you] want a world very different from the one we currently know? Let kids build the capacity to imagine it."