I have a masters degree in teaching, and taught for many years at all age levels. I taught preschool for two years, and in my class of three-year-olds, many of the children had problems with fine motor skills, and had to have occupational therapy to be able to learn how to use small muscles for things like cutting with scissors or rolling play dough into snakes.
This is, in part, because the WAY children play has changed with the advent of easy access to personal technology devices. Back before there was such a thing as APPS, children used to play by using their whole bodies. They would build villages out of sticks and mud, drag things around tied to a string, throw, jump, run, balance, climb, and use their imaginations.
Now, digital play things are very automated, and the child isn’t interacting with their environment they way humans were designed.
The Toy Industry Association has a campaign to drive awareness about the importance of play, and to ask parents to Pledge To Play!
Take the Pledge to Play means that you, as the parent or caregiver, pledge to make good old fashioned, tech-free play a part of your child’s life on a weekly basis. It could mean enforcing “unplugged” time, or making them spend time in the yard for a time.
Stay playful, my friends.