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Leland's Barns - The Backyard Shed Blog

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Pretend Play is Good for You!

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Research has revealed that modern children play outdoors just half as much as their parents did when they were young. Today's youth are more inclined to stay indoors and watch television, play computer games and, in some cases, even do their homework, than go outside to play, according to researchers.

Figures show that those growing up in the during the 1970s and 1980s enjoyed more than two hours of outside play each weekday, and a further nine hours at weekends - whatever the weather.


But today's youngsters venture outside for just over an hour each weekday, and fewer than five hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Kids who spend too much time at the computer are missing out on other activities fundamental to their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Time spent in front of the computer or game console is time taken away from playing with friends, reading or a doing a project with you, or playing outside.

Solutions to these modern problems are, pretend play! 

When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.

Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it's two children wanting to play the same role or searching for the just right materials to furnish the playhouse, your child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills.

Does your child enjoy a bit of roughhousing? Great! Some researchers in early brain development believe that this sort of play helps develop the part of the brain (the frontal lobe) that regulates behavior. So instead of worrying that this type of activity will encourage your child to act out or become too aggressive, be assured that in a monitored situation, roughhouse play can actually help your child learn the self-regulation skills needed to know how and when this type of play is appropriate.


Not enough pretend play at your house? Consider a Painted Hide Out play house from Leland´s. A play house from Leland´s filled with objects to spark your preschooler's fantasy world. You might include:

    • Old clothes, shoes, backpacks, hats

    • Old telephones, phone books, magazines

    • Cooking utensils, dishes, plastic food containers, table napkins, silk flowers

    • Stuffed animals and dolls of all sizes

    • Fabric pieces, blankets, or old sheets for making costumes or a fort

    • Theme-appropriate materials such as postcards, used plane tickets, foreign coins, and photos for a pretend vacation trip

    • Writing material for taking phone messages, leaving notes, and making shopping lists

Obviously the list could go on for a long time but you get the idea. Then comes what happens to most of us parents is that we procrastinate and we say, “next year.” With Leland’s monthly payments there is no need to wait until next year. For only $133.94 monthly on our Painted Hide Out you can begin to immediately, significantly and positively impact your child’s life and future.

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