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29 August 2011

Lack of free play among children harmful

Hovering helicopter parents who restrict their kids' unstructured play may actually harm, rather than help children.

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Hovering helicopter parents who restrict their kids' unstructured play may actually harm, rather than help children according to the latest issue of the American Journal of Play, a scholarly journal which has gathered a group of experts to probe the near-extinction of free play and its effects on children and society.

"Remarkably, over the last 50 years, opportunities for children to play freely have declined continuously and dramatically in the United States and other developed nations; and that decline continues, with serious negative consequences for children's physical, mental, and social development," said Guest Editor Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College. "This special issue of the American Journal of Play reviews the evidence for the crucial roles of play in children's development and proposes ways we may create a world in which play—especially free outdoor play with other children—is once again a normative part of childhood." - (EurekAlert!, August 2011)

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