Are your kids getting enough imaginative play time?

It won’t surprise you that a 2003 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that most pre-schoolers and toddlers have watched TV or DVDs or have used a computer.  It is surprising that, on a daily basis, the kids participating in this study spent as much time in front of a screen (2 hours) as playing outside, and much more than they spent reading books (38 minutes). Sure, some of that screentime might include Skyping with Grandma.  But how much of it is Curious George, Baby Einstein, or even an iPad filled with educational apps? And is any of it really nurturing our kids’ imaginations or creativity?
The same study found that kids are asking for brand name items as soon as they learn to talk.  We parents spend hours hunting online for the best deals on Thomas trains, or Dora pajamas and sneakers, and we have to stop and ask – who’s really getting the best deal here?

Join us on Wednesday, January 8th at Wellesley Books for a talk given by Dr. Susan Linn, in which she presents us with the case for imaginative play that fosters kids’ creativity and psychological health.  She suggests that we put our wallets away and help our kids to find their own way to an imagination-fueled playtime.  A nationally-recognized expert on the effects of media and commercial marketing on children, Dr. Linn has written for the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post and been featured on Sixty MinutesWorld News Tonight, and Dateline.
Instead of relying on marketing companies and brand managers to determine which program or device our child most needs to grow and develop, perhaps it is time for us to use our creativity to nurture our children’s?

photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc

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