If you suspect your child needs more playtime, here are some signs to clue you in. SheKnows shares signs your preschooler needs more playtime.
He knows every Spongebob Squarepants episode by heart
Ok, we joke. After all, what preschool-aged kid doesn’t love his cartoons? But cartoons have a time and a place; they should not be the core of your child’s daily entertainment. And while controlled amounts of television are okay, make sure that your child is not becoming a TV zombie. Set limits on the amount of time he spends in front of the tube… and control which cartoons he’s watching. There are some great age-appropriate educational cartoons that help educate and engage preschoolers (such as Dora the Explorer) versus the off-the-wall and sometimes gross and gory antics of Spongebob and his under sea posse.
She’s not tired at bedtime
Of course no preschooler is going to actually admit she’s tired when it’s time to get ready for bed. However, if your child is consistently having a tough time falling asleep at bedtime, she may not be getting enough playtime during the day.
He’s anti-social and shy in a group of children
Social anxieties and shyness are normal for preschool-aged kids. However, if these tendencies are preventing your child from engaging with other kids his own age, you may want to increase his playtime. Take him to parks, library story times and mommy and me tumble or music classes where he can engage and play with other children while still having the comfort of mommy by his side. The more he’s introduced to situations with lots of children, the more comfortable he’ll be engaging in social playtimes.
SHe has a change in behavior
You know how when your dog eats your shoes because he’s trying to tell you something (ahem, play with me, play with me, play with me). Well, not to compare children to dogs, but when children act out an unexpected ways, it could be a sign of boredom. Put that excess energy to work! Harness your child’s energy in a way that interests and engages her — and, if it tires her out as well, so much the better!
You don’t have to take your child to a bounce house or get him a new toy every day to keep him entertained — in fact too much “stuff” could overwhelm and over-stimulate a preschooler. Instead, create small, every day adventures for your child that will help engage his mind and body. For example, grab a magnifying glass and take a slow stroll around your neighborhood. And never underestimate the power of the bucket/shovel combination.
sHe’s burned out
Ever heard the old adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” Well, it’s true — even at the young age of 4 or 5. While setting the foundation for learning and education at this early age is so very important, it’s just as important to make sure your child has adequate playtime in between learning sessions so she doesn’t get burned out from learning too early on in life. Remember, it’s just preschool. Much of it is simply a way to introduce how to learn lessons — listening to your teacher, playing nicely with others, etc. There will be plenty of time for hardcore study sessions later in your child’s educational future. So relax and give your child a study break in favor of a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek.