A note to parents:
Not all learning takes place in the confines of a classroom. More often than not, play is the best way for kids to learn. While I strongly believe in traditional learning activities like reading, I suggest you make sure that your kids have lots of time to play. I’ve addressed this short letter to your child to let them know that they should be engaging in digital play this summer, but that they shouldn’t overdo it. If you’re concerned that your child will want to spend all of their time staring at a screen instead of playing in the sun this summer, have them read this.
Your parents should let you play Minecraft, watch YouTube, Instagram and text your friends this summer. I’m not just another kid telling you this. I’m a child clinical psychologist, and I’m so old that video games weren’t even invented yet when I was a kid. The reason your parents should let you play Minecraft and other video games this summer is because you learn best when you’re playing. Play is how you learn to get along with others. It’s how you learn from your mistakes. It’s how you figure out what you like to do… and what you don’t.
Wait! Before you rush off to tell your parents that a psychologist says you should play video games all day long (I don’t), you should know that there are different types of play you should be participating in. You need to go outside, play some sports, stay active, do some artwork, read stuff that interests you, and hang out with your friends to get the most out of play.
Did you know that you can even watch Let’s Plays on YouTube and learn about the video games you love and how your mind works when you play them? Our LW4K Let’s Play channel helps you do just that. You can learn how Minecraft and other games can help you get better at organizing yourself, managing your time, planning out your schoolwork, and improving your concentration.
Have lots of fun playing this summer and make sure you’re reading, getting creative, playing with friends, and getting lots of active time outdoors!
Dr. Randy Kulman
Featured image: Flickr user Shadowman39