When children are given time, opportunity and materials to play they can practise new developmental skills, which are necessary to support a child’s development and mental health.

When children are given time, opportunity and materials to play they can practise new developmental skills, which are necessary to support a child’s development and mental health.

Celebrate National Child Day by letting your child play

National Child Day is celebrated on Nov. 20 each year.

National Child Day has been celebrated across Canada since 1993 to commemorate the United Nations’ adoption of two documents centred on children’s rights: the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, 1989.

By ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, Canada made a commitment to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect. This commitment includes the opportunity for children to have a voice, be protected from harm and be provided with their basic needs and every opportunity to reach their full potential.

Celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision-making. In celebration of National Child Day in the Comox Valley, Colleen Friendship, early childhood educator, reminds us of the critical importance of children’s play.

Children need to play. Play is a natural experience for most children; this is changing for young children. Scheduled classes and play dates are children’s experience today. The influence of screen time has affected the natural opportunity for play for many children. Advertising has given parents the message screen time is good for children, however, many child development experts would disagree.

How does play fit in with scheduled activities? How are screen time games playful? Play, by definition, is an activity freely chosen. It is self directed, with no prescribed outcome. When children have opportunities to play, really play, they are becoming confident, problem solvers. When children play with other children they are learning life skills, communicating their ideas, developing empathy. Children sharing creative experiences develop opportunities to bring their ideas to life. Play supports children’s mental well-being. As they play they help to make sense of feelings and emotions. When children are given time, opportunity and materials to play they can practise new developmental skills. These skills are necessary to support a child’s development and mental health.

According to Dr. Peter Gray, the decline of play in children can be linked to increase in depression and anxiety in children. Play is a powerful tool to support children’s understanding of the world, allows them to feel in control.

Have you heard children say, ‘OK, you be the mom and I am going to be the big sister?’ This is children taking charge while playing. Stuart Brown links lack of play to a decrease in creativity and problem solving, a necessary skill throughout life.

As we get ready to celebrate National Child Day be playful with your child. Let them be the leaders in play. Look for those opportunities to play with boxes, water, sand, crayons, blocks, books. Ask your child what would they like to play, or better yet watch your child play and ask if you can join in. When we join in play and let them be the leaders we can have fun. Play and being playful is good for our well-being.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bench designed and created by Comox woodworker Brian Mayenburg. Photo submitted
Building for a cause to better the community

Comox woodworker raising funds for Comox Valley Food Bank

Greg Baute (inset), senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will be the guest speaker at the next Comox Valley Horticultural Society (CVHS) meeting. Photo supplied
Cannabis breeding discussed at next Comox Valley Horticultural Society meeting

Greg Baute, senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will… Continue reading

The next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series is Scott Amos, one half of the group Monkey C Interactive, which has drawn attention for transforming old technologies into interactive works of art, such as Registroid (supplied photo)
Next North Island College Artist Talk speaker breathes new life into old technology

Interactive installation artist Scott Amos will be the next speaker at North… Continue reading

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read