Everyone needs time to relax and decompress, kids included. Kids have to be “on” and focused while at school and at extracurricular activities. Being able to wind down after these obligations is imperative. Read on to learn about the importance of downtime for your children below.

Ask Yourself, “Is My Child Overscheduled?” 

Adults aren’t the only ones that can have a hectic schedule. We want our children to be involved in extracurricular activities, but are they busy from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed? Constant sports practices and games, studying for school, completing homework, and running family errands can add up to be a packed schedule with no room for relaxation.

If your child is overscheduled, they may be experiencing poor sleep habits and/or poor school performance.

The Importance of Downtime for Your Child

What is downtime? Downtime is simply a period of the day when your child has the opportunity to relax, decompress, and recharge. They don’t have to be anywhere or doing anything specific.

Providing your child with downtime can help eliminate stress, improve their sleep, and improve their school performance. Our brains need time to relax and take a pause from the craziness of our daily lives. Relaxing allows children to do things they want to do, rather than things they have to do.

It is very important to provide your children with unstructured play. Unstructured play does not involve any guidelines for what the child should do. This provides more opportunities for them to use their imagination and creativity to play, ultimately improving their problem-solving and decision-making skills.

The CDC recommends 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each day.

How Can I Create Downtime for Kids?

Create a Doable Schedule

There is a multitude of reasons why extracurricular activities benefit children. As you create their schedule, be mindful to not overschedule.

  1. Avoid having obligations every day. You can take the mindset of having a one-to-one ratio of downtime and activities throughout the school year.
  2. Discuss and identify what activities your child is truly passionate about and commit to only a couple at a time.

Let Them Play

Play is natural for a child. Don’t force them to play, socialize, or be creative. Rather, let them play when they want and let them relax when it seems like they need a break. Teach children the importance of getting back to being productive after relaxing. For example, your child may need a bit of downtime after school but will need to complete their homework afterward.

Get Outside

Most importantly – spend time outside. Spending downtime outside checks so many boxes we are attempting to accomplish.

  1. Relaxation time
  2. Play
  3. Exercise
  4. Stress Relief

So let your kids play in the yard, take a walk as a family, ride bikes together, or visit your local park or playground!

Midstates Recreation designs, supplies, and builds community-enhancing recreational play and site structures. Midstates Recreation offers a variety of playground equipment in communities located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Our emphasis is not only to create play and recreation spaces for all but to also provide a truly valuable and inclusive addition to your community! Contact your local sales representative to learn more.

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