The Power of Play

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Play is important to child development.
Air Date: 9/20/22
Duration: 14:02
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Michael Yogman, MD, FAAP
Dr. Michael Yogman is a pediatrician in practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Chief of the Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics at Mt. Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Currently, he is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Boston Children’s Museum and Immediate Past Board Chair, Chair of the Massachusetts American Academy of Pediatrics Child Mental Health Task Force and Chair of the national American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health where he has authored policy statements on fathers role with children, perinatal depression, the power of play, trauma, toxic stress and resilience and addressing early childhood behavioral problems. He serves as a legislative appointee to the Massachusetts Advisory Board on Child Mental Health and a gubernatorial appointee to the Massachusetts Special Commission Relative to Postpartum Depression. He also consults to a number of child care centers. He is a trustee of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital and the Landmarks Orchestra, a member of the advisory board of Fathers Uplift, and on the Board of Advisers of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard.
    The Power of Play
    Play is important to child development. It should be a priority in children’s lives.

    Why Play is Priority

    1. Play with caregivers, peers and teachers affects brain structure and function.
    2. Playful learning is a fundamental part of healthy development.
    3. Play helps develop the safe, nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers to mitigate toxic stress and promote resilience.

    Fifty percent of parents don’t go outside to play with their children. Thirty percent of kindergartens don’t have recess--a sacrifice made in order to focus on testing skills. Unsafe outdoor conditions often lead children to stay indoors with screens.

    Toys are fantastic for developing problem-solving ability. Parents may limit the child’s interactions by telling the child how to play. You can ask prompting questions if the child seems stuck, but let the youngster resolve the toy.

    Listen as Dr. Michael Yogman joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss the importance of play.
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