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Play-deprivation: How to have a balanced childhood through educational play

Apr 12,2024 | Ducks N Crafts Pte Ltd.

kid writing

Although play is crucial for a child's development, play deprivation is a problem that some kids face these days. This is the result of denying a child sufficient time or freedom to engage in unstructured, imaginative play.

Why Is It Important to Play?

Playing enables kids to develop social skills, increase their cognitive skills, control or express their emotions and remain healthy though physical play which also enhances motor abilities and coordination.


The Unexpected Cause of Play Deprivation: Good Intentions?

Sometimes, parents unintentionally limit play because they want their children to excel academically.  They might pack their schedules with structured activities or discourage "messy" play.  While these come from a place of love, they can backfire.


Here are other factors that contribute to play deprivation:

  • Technology: Screen time can replace imaginative play.
  • Fear of danger: Overly cautious parents might restrict outdoor play.
  • Lack of access to green space: Urban environments might have limited play areas.


The Signs Your Child Might Be Play Deprived

Let’s explore the signs that your child might be play deprived:

  • Difficulty making friends: They struggle with social interaction or cooperation.
  • Tantrums and meltdowns: They have trouble expressing themselves calmly.
  • Boredom and listlessness: They seem uninterested in activities or easily frustrated.
  • Developmental delays: They might lag behind in social, emotional, or motor skills.


Arts and Crafts and other Activities to Prevent Play Deprivation

The good news is that we can reverse the effects of play deprivation! Here's how:

  • Schedule playtime: Block out unstructured time for free play every day.
  • Embrace the mess: Allow for creative activities like painting, building, or sensory play.
  • Get outdoors: Nature provides endless opportunities for exploration and imagination.
  • Join the fun: Get down on the floor and play with your child!
  • Limit screen time: Set boundaries on technology use.
  • Focus on process, not product: Let your child explore and have fun, not worry about creating a masterpiece.

Looking for arts and crafts activities to help your kids prevent having play deprivation? Explore our arts and crafts collection!

By prioritizing play, we can help our children thrive. Remember,  happy and playful kids are better learners, stronger emotionally, and more prepared for the world!