“My concern is that denying young children to engage in play has led them to not getting the kinds of experiences that actually prepare them to live effectively in an unpredictable world,” Pellis says.
Far from being a total waste of time, play allows us to fine-tune our motor skills, develop social skills and emotional resilience and learn our limitations, and is actually essential for normal, healthy brain development. In animals, play even boosts their chances of survival. Sadly, the youth of today play nowhere near as much as previous generations. As noted in “The Power of Play,” children now play outdoors half as much as their parents did.