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We’ve all heard how great it is for our kids to engage in free play, especially while spending time outside. But what are the real benefits? Furthermore, how in the world do we even get our kids to play independently for more than five minutes at a time? Why is it so difficult for some children to be interested in playing alone? Our guest today, Allana Robinson, is an expert on this topic and she is sharing how to make this all possible for you and your children.
In my conversation with Allana, we discuss the importance of outdoor play and independent play. This has been a huge passion of mine over the last year, and I’m excited for you to hear this discussion. Allana Robinson is a parenting coach and registered early childhood educator. She supports parents of children 2-6 years old with understanding why their children misbehave and how to fix it without yelling, shaming, or time-outs.
In this episode we discuss:
- The definition of free play and why it’s so important for adults not to interfere during this time
- How to slowly build up free play time at any age
- Incorporating nature with infants
- Why parents have fears around unsupervised play
- Setting safe boundaries with children and using the tools available to us
- Time timer
- No Child Left Alone Study
- Myopia Study
- Small Animals: Parenthood In The Age of Fear by Kim Brooks
- Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom
- Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Dr. Stuart Brown
- The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds
- Editorial: Environmental Enrichment: Enhancing Neural Plasticity, Resilience, and Repair
- Instant Pot Tortellini Alfredo Recipe
Connect with Allana:
Connect with Lynzy:
- Join the Motherhood Meets Medicine community at patreon.com/motherhoodmeetsmedicine
- Instagram: @motherhoodmeetsmedicine
- Sign up for the weekly newsletter here
Questions answered in this episode:
- What is free play?
- Why is it so important that adults don’t interfere or initiate free play?
- What are the starting tips for someone who wants to incorporate free play into their lives?
- Is there a suggested amount of time that children should have free play per day?
- At what age should free play be introduced?
- How can nature and the outdoors be incorporated for infants?
- Why are parents so afraid of allowing their kids to play outdoors unsupervised?
- How do you mark off the “safe” areas to play in in your neighborhood?
- When it’s too hot to go outside, what do you suggest for outdoor play?