2020 has been a trying year for parents, with many struggling to arrange a schedule for schooling and playtime. The good news: play doesn’t need to be planned – and it shouldn’t be. On World Children’s Day, it’s the perfect time to remember and value the importance of play.

Dear parents, stop organising your kids’ playtime

Today, on World Children’s Day, I want to bring our attention to the importance of play – once again. Play is essential for our development and fundamental to how we learn. For the past three decades, it has also been considered a right for children – the same as the right to healthcare, nutrition and education. And with close to one billion school kids affected by school closures at the height of lockdown, it’s more important than ever to understand how and why we play.

2020 has put the relationship between parents and their children under a stress test. Throughout the year, schools have been affected by coronavirus lockdowns and as of November 2020, as many as one billion students are seeing their schools routines affected. In many countries, kids have had to stay at home. Keeping them company are even more adults, many juggling work and childcare simultaneously.

If you’re one of those parents, the most likely reaction you had to these sudden responsibilities for care and education was: get organised. 

Trying to teach spelling or maths between work meetings, while simultaneously preparing lunch, is a hydra-headed challenge. The way we usually deal with such complex tasks is the same way that we as adults deal with multiple commitments in our own lives. 

We schedule.

As adults, we often believe that achieving someth…

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