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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Importance of Play

by Terri Forehand

The world can be a scary place for adults, so you can imagine what it appears to a child. In these uncertain times, play needs to be an important part of a child’s day. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.

* Play is a great stress reliever.
* Play allows the child the freedom of expression
* Play allows a child to act out his fears, concerns, or anxieties
* Play can be a diversion for painful procedures or separation anxiety
* Play can be a source of security and safety for a child
* Developmentally appropriate play helps a child with normal growth and motor skills
* Play should be incorporated with children who are hospitalized frequently
* Play puts the child in the driver’s seat allowing him to make choices and have a
sense of control

Safety during playtime must also be considered. Children of all ages need some sort of supervision depending on the age and development of the individual child. And that includes teens. All children are more secure when they know an adult is caring enough to check up on them and to be interested in what they are doing.

Now go play and enjoy!


Terri Forehand is a pediatric critical care nurse. Visit her blog, Heartfeltwords4kids.

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