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Give Children the Gift of Time
September 17, 2021
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
-Colette

“During the shelter in place restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children discovered that, for the first time in their young lives, they had plenty of unstructured free time. Suddenly, their daily experience was much like that of their grandparents and parents, for whom childhood was brimming with open time. And something really interesting happened after kids consumed every movie, show and video game they were allowed: they became extremely bored. And because we adults had so much of our own work and caretaking to do, we did not rescue them from their boredom. They had to figure it out. After what seemed like an eternity, boredom (as it is wont to do, if we can just get past our discomfort with it,) allowed children to slow down and get carried away–opening up realms of creativity and ingenuity.”

So begins a research-based article by Wendy L. Ostroff which was featured in an Exchange magazine’s Bridging Research and Practice section. It also forms the basis for a new Exchange Reflections, “Allowing Time For Deeper Learning.” Ostroff shares information on the value of providing longer periods of time for children to create and experiment, without the constant rush to move on to the next activity. This Reflections invites groups or individuals to explore ways children can experience more unstructured time during group care, more time in nature to explore as they wish, and more unstructured family time. There are important food-for-thought opportunities here!





Exchange Reflections

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