Parenting Guide

Parenting Guide

Unplug and Play

Why Today’s Kids Still Need Good, Old-Fashioned Play Time

“We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream.”


  • Key Elements of Play

    One of parenting’s simplest pleasures is watching your child at play. When children at play engage in the basics of movement, touch, and human connection, everything from their motor skills to their attachment systems benefits. Play is an essential part of childhood, as it helps your child understand others and make sense of the world…

  • Benefits of Play

    Play is essential for healthy brain development. It supports all areas of your child’s development—the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional. What might look like simple play to you is actually your child hard at work, learning the skills necessary for success later in life. Even engaging in early musical experiences—like drumming to a rhythmic beat—can…

  • Technology and Play

    Apps, games, and videos are enchanting for a child— but is playing on a device really playing? Today’s children are exposed to multiple electronic devices that can overstimulate them. The brain needs to have a chance to “do nothing” from time to time. Being bored can be beneficial! In the empty space produced by doing…

  • Parent Playfully

    Enter your child’s world through play. When you and your child play together, you foster connection. Think back to your own childhood. Do you remember your favorite ways to play? There are many ways to support your child in play, including setting up the right environment, encouraging interactions and then stepping back, supporting problem solving,…

  • Resources for Further Reading

    Association for Library Service to Children. (2012). The importance of play, particularly constructive play, in public library programming. Chicago, IL: S. M. Nespeca. Cohen, L. J. (2002). Playful parenting. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. Ginsburg, K. R. (2007). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. Pediatrics, 119(1), 182-191.…

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