Children grow better with active play. Psychology says so

The more children play outside, the more they grow inside and they will become better adults. To understand how much they have lost over two years of confinement and limitations of presence and creativity, we must analyze time through their eyes: “If we perceive time from an adult’s perspective, it’s one thing, but if we look at “with that of a child, we understand that two years of a pandemic can represent 50% of his life, a fundamental period of growth and training”, says Dr. Alberto Pellai, Psychotherapist in developmental age, Ph.D. in public health, specialist in hygiene and preventive medicine and researcher at the University of Milan. “The locking increased the time children spent in front of the screen, and this negatively affected language learning: words heard through a video are perceived passively, they are not comparable to those exchanged during a conscious and active interaction.”

It is not possible to make up for lost time, but declining active play in the present and the future is a must. For this, Dr. Pellai together with the Scientific Committee formed by Laura Pomari, psychomotor, Marta Rizzi psychotherapist psychologist, e.g. Barbara Tamborini psychopath and author have dedicated the manifesto to active play “Come out, grow inside! “presented by Little Tikesa brand that for over 50 years has been making toys that stimulate imagination and action, in the framework of Forte Village in Sardinia, supporter of the initiative. Through play, children learn to create and explore a world they are able to master, they can develop skills, learn to make decisions, to solve problems. “With the game, you create a separate dimension from reality, where extraordinary things happen, in the game trees have the power to become castles “says Pomari.


“No parent would say to a child asking him to come down and play: ‘Yes, but no more than 30 minutes. With video games, however, you feel the natural instinct to set boundaries. This happens because the game is automatically recognized as something that makes you feel comfortable. In reverse, video games stop the body and stimulate only two of the five senses. Active play adapts to the child’s natural rhythm and follows its physiological fatigue cycle, allowing the development of integrated neural networks, ie. experiences treated by different areas of the cerebral cortex. With video games, everything is more limited, there is only a stimulus reaction scheme where you are not free to decide the plot and build a narrative in progress », ** explains Pellai. **


Children discover themselves by playing: “It helps them become what they want to be, it allows them to discover others through the development of relational skills. The child discovers the world because play requires it to deal with what is in the world by stimulating many brain areas. A child who does not play will be an adult who knows himself less and who has not gained the awareness of feeling good and of being the main character in his life ”.


“Play is the moment of pleasure even in adulthood and allows you to get out of the dynamics of duty. The best thing is to find your own cozy room with the child, which can also be a simple bike ride: the idea is to do good for both by finding a common dimension ».


The WHO recommends that children be physically active for three hours a day. So I advise parents: check how long your baby has been moving, and if it is less than three hours, then analyze what he was doing instead. Studies tell us that active play in nature is best for children and also makes adults feel good.


Go out, grow in it received patronage from the municipality of Milan and it is not just a manifesto for its own sake. It comes to life with the initiative “Get down in the yard “ which includes an awareness-raising activity about the importance of play outside the home, so that gardens and patios become places where active play is possible and accessible everywhere and for everyone. The condominiums in Italy located in vulnerable areas can apply via the website to receive outdoor play sets and thus create areas where children can meet, play, give vent to their imagination and socialize.

“Play for the good”, is the social charity initiative that aims to raise donations and funds to support children and mothers in difficulty and enable them to live a normal life, also consisting of playful moments. The profits will be donated to the Archè Foundation, which through various projects specifically supports mothers in difficulty and their children. The little ones can do their part by sending gods drawings: among these, ten will be selected to adapt the Cozy Coupe, the iconic Little Tikes toy cars, which will then be the main characters along with the drawings in an exhibition.

In the gallery the benefits of active play.

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