Published Online: October 10, 2006

Report Roundup

Importance of Free Play Highlighted

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Free and unstructured playtime is necessary to help children reach social, emotional, and cognitive milestones, as well as helping them lower their levels of stress, a report concludes.

The report, sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, was written in response to trends that threaten time for children to participate in free play, such as the increasing competitiveness of the college-admissions process and federal education policies that have caused K-12 schools to reduce time for recess and physical education. Among other assertions, the report claims that a loss of free time combined with a hurried lifestyle can contribute to stress, anxiety, and even depression in children.

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