Peter Gray’s TED talk about the decline of play for children had revealed that there are negative consequences for the growing emphasis on structured learning. These consequences include increase in narcissism and a decline in creative thinking.
This speaker shows an understanding for how different life was for children in the 1950’s and how life is for children nowadays. With school being emphasized as the most beneficial advantage for children, there is more time put into instruction. In fact, many adults believe that play is a waste of time, which is not the case because play can prove to be where children are safe to learn about the world and how it works.
The purpose of play is to allow children to develop important life skills, such as the ability to communicate effectively and exposure to children of different personalities. Without play, children can grow up to be lacking in essential lessons that they should have learned when they were young.
It is logical that parents may be cautious about letting their children play, especially play in playgrounds, because less and less children are spending time outdoors. So like Gray mentioned, when a child finally has the opportunity to play outside, there is no one around to play, making the playground a now more dangerous area to be.
Therefore, it is vital that parents learn to allow their children to interact with other children freely in places such as the playground. This would not only allow children to develop skills that will lead to success in life but also create a safe environment where parents can have no fear of their kids being in danger.
I would like to investigate other ways children can obtain this level of free play while still being in a safe environment. Playgrounds may not prove to be sufficient enough in overcoming the problem of lack of play, so elementary schools should also acknowledge the importance of play and incorporate this concept of unstructured learning into education.