Five essentials to meaningful play for kids

Five essentials to meaningful play for kids

Childhood is that stage of life when the brain is still developing and trying to make sense of the surrounding world. In fact, the age span of 0-5 years is said to be most vital in terms of brain development, absorbing information, learning new abilities, discovering more of life’s offerings, understanding relationships and the numerous social systems making up human communities.

Before a child begins schooling, the learning is more through observation and self discovery. The medium for self learning is play. Toys, objects, body movements, rhythms, all contribute to cognitive enhancement of a child. Here, it is important that guardians create an enabling environment for the tiny tots to engage in play which is constructive and adds value to their growth trajectory. This may be something as small but as crucial as gifting a construction block set or crossword, jigsaw puzzle or clay set to allow the child to go wild in the exploration.

In the technological age, childhood learning too has shifted to the digital medium. But this must be regulated and restricted. Of course, early learning and play apps are more than facilitators of cognitive function for toddlers but any divergence from the app may prove to be not so conducive.

Childhood is a very special and meaningful phase of life for almost every individual. That is because the memories of learning through action and knowledge through wild play make this phase an unforgettable and cherishable one. Everyone loves playing with children, deriving joy in giving joy, engaging in a form of bonding unmatched in later stages of life. It is important that the pleasure and pampering parents received in their time as children is given back to their kids.

Let us enumerate such imperatives for catalyzing an environment of meaningful play for the young generation.

A safe, creative environment

We ought to give children a safe play environment and let them play by themselves. Distant supervision allows security of the wards while enabling them to improve decision making, understand consequences of actions and relish freedom of individuality. To inspire independent thinking, it is also a great idea to provide foam pieces, little wooden sticks, ribbon scraps, and other reusable resources for play time. Open-ended materials instill creative thinking and delight children to create pieces never thought of.

Discovering interests

It is surprising but true that the innate tendency and inclination to play in the early years is in large measure due to the fact that the young guns wish to discover and learn more and more through their action, through social engagements and collective play. The parents must thus keep the fire to play burning in children, and perhaps give a proper channel to make play a profession later in life.

Teaching focus

It has been observed that during play, children offer single-minded devotion. Play becomes priority as all else gets forgotten. This is laying the foundation of focus and concentration. These are the first signs of understanding a kid’s ability to avoid distraction in areas which aren’t of interest. This ability to focus on one thing at a time can be leveraged by parents to drive home scientific temperament through explaining natural phenomena, trying new ideas, helping them understand their cartoons or virtual life from the real life and the laws that govern real life. For instance, in their play time children may try to emulate their superheroes by trying to fly. Explanation of the phenomenon of gravity will come in handy here.

Who doesn’t procrastinate?

  • I am too busy.
  • I am too tired.
  • I don’t have the energy.
  • I am too scared.
  • I don’t know where to start.

These are the most common excuses people use when they procrastinate—delay doing what they need to do. How many of these have you personally used?

According to the American Psychological Association, almost 80% of the people surveyed admit to lying to themselves about the reasons they put off doing things.

So, who doesn’t procrastinate?    The short answer is–nobody.  You’re human, and nobody is productive 100% of the time. But some people have allowed procrastination to thoroughly pervade their lives so much that they don’t realize how much of this non-renewable resource they’re losing.  Whatever kind of future, lifestyle, quest you seek, you need time to achieve mastery and time to make it stick.   

Procrastination is often confused with laziness or plain lack of self-discipline. The truth is that people who procrastinate frequently do so because they are perfectionists who fear making mistakes.  When we face difficult or unpleasant tasks, our brains may choose to ignore our long term interests and goal for immediate pleasure. This can lead to a vicious cycle of poor performance and low self-esteem.

So, what are you to do? Procrastinate effectively! But if we make small changes in our environment, this can help us overcome our negative feelings and increase productivity.

Simplify Your House, Simplify Your Life

Organize your house! Sometimes it’s hard for us to focus on important tasks because we have too many other little stressors creep up on us and accumulate. Physical clutter is a form of sensory overload–a stressor, can lead to mental chaos.  So use your procrastinated time to organize around your house. Take out the trash, wash the dishes, vacuum the floor, get rid of things you haven’t seen or touched for the last 24 months and probably won’t ever again 😉

The key to staying organized is focusing on one shelf or drawer at a time, tackling each one as efficiently as possible so that every part of your home stays tidy.

This “mental” state of clutter has been associated with depression and anxiety, among other conditions. Once you have removed your physical clutter, you’ll gain mental clarity and will have some space in your head to tackle the real work.

p.s. Once you’re done with the physical clutter, you might want to do a digital decluttering of your devices.

Offload Your Mental Tabs

No wonder you can’t concentrate on work!  Your mind is constantly going through all the calls you need to make, keeping track of to do list, and basically trying to make sure you survive well. Help yourself right now by making those important calls and writing down all your to do’s.  You’ve got a lot going on inside the brain, and when you can write down your appointments and to do’s, why stress your brain out by keeping them only in your mind?  If your brain were a browser, you don’t want to open up 100 different tabs at the same time.  Even Einstein’s brain would start to process slower with the strain!

Real Connections

You feel guilty–you’ve been meaning to check in on some very important people in your life and return those calls and emails, but your schedule has been hectic. Well, what are you doing now, procrastinating? No time is better than now. There are people who are important to you, right? So, use that non-working time on them.

Humans are social creatures, we need human connections in order to be emotionally and mentally healthy.  Meaningful relationships where you’ll get these real connections can only be sustained if they are bilateral.  We can’t have strong relationship if we’re not there for the people who matter.

Discover Yourself

Take the time to unlock what’s truly within you through curaFUN’s guided journals and fun quizzes that help build emotional wellness, confidence, resilience and discipline. Download the Quest Depot app now to learn more! Spend your procrastination time in a more meaningful way to appreciate who you are as a person, learn and grow, and develop within. You’ll come out of this ready to take on any work project put in front of you.

Circulate

We all have those days where we just sit at our desk and nothing comes out of our brains.  If so, why not move around a bit to get your circulation going.  Countless research tells us that exercise not only help reduce stress levels and provide energy, but it also improves moods and can improve cognitive performance.

So go outside and take a walk around the block or a local park. Even 6 minutes of exercise can make a big difference. 

Some physical activity may be just what you need to get back to your focused, productive self. You’ll become better able to handle that project, and your body will thank you too.

.True Rest

This is probably what you’ve been needing all along. Modern life drags us in a zillion different directions—work, family, social media, fitness, finances, school, friends….and the list goes on.  If you find yourself more distracted and procrastinating more, your body may begging you for some true rest.

Rest

noun
the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep:a good night’s rest.
refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor:to allow an hour for rest.
relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity:to go away for a rest.
mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.

I’ve included the dictionary definition of rest here because so many of us stay on our devices to take a break when we’ve been working online all day long.  True rest means giving yourself a break from what you’ve been doing–some elements of inactivity is necessary to achieve this. 

Without proper rest, it’s hard to show up and shine, especially when you face challenges. Clear your mind and incorporate meditation in that rest period, do some breathing exercises. Sometimes just closing your eyes and listening to some good music puts us right where we need to be.  

The next time you find yourself endlessly “looking for inspirations” on Instagram, Pinterest, Deviantart, TikTok…., try one of the tips in this article, you may find the genius is within yourself.

When we procrastinate, we almost always doom our futures and create more stress. Time is not a commodity. We can never get it back and we should always be aware of that. When we waste time, we are wasting our most valuable resource. The key to beating procrastination is finding the right balance between short-term mood repairs and longer-term goals.

This is why Quest Depot is invaluable to people who procrastinate.  Quest Depot is an unconventional personal growth system that replaces goal setting guides, progress trackers, guided journals, reward charts, and automatically applies the right motivation methods for you and proven productivity proven tools and techniques, so you achieve and live life to the fullest!

It’s time to get things done. If you’re going to procrastinate, do it effectively and still achieve all of your goals every time. Give yourself a chance. There’s nothing to lose. Take your power back at Quest Depot today!