The Importance of Play


Play is so important in child development that it’s been recognized by the United High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.  The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recent report explains why children are playing less and the impact is on today’s kids.  Over the last few decades, the amount of play time has been reduced both at school and at home, according to the AAP.  And a child’s playtime at home has been negatively affected by the hectic lifestyles of today’s working parents and the increased focus that parents often put on the academic end of their children’s education. But this all comes at a cost.  “Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imaginations, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength,” according to the AAP report.  It allows children to explore the world, practice adult roles, and gain confidence.  And it improves children’s social skills as well, by helping them to “learn how to work in groups, share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.”

The key to helping your child reach his potential–without the added anxiety–is to find the right balance between work and play.  Here are some recommendations from the AAP:

1. Give kids ample, unscheduled time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress.

2. Encourage your children to engage in active play (running around or playing tag) in lieu of passive entertainment (video games or television).

3. Buy your children “true” toys, such as blocks or dolls, that encourage imagination and creativity.

4. Spend unscheduled, unstructured time together with your kids.

5. Ask your child regularly whether he feels overly tired, burned out, or overscheduled.

6.  Allow your children to have a say in which extracurricular activities they are involved in.

7. Get involved in your child’s school and take an active role in ensuring that all kids are getting ample free time.

               From: The Importance of Play by Karin Bilch from Parents Magazine


Controversy over new Harper Lee Novel

Go Set a Watchman cover

The controversy continues to swirl over the announcement that Harper Lee will publish a new novel, Go Set a Watchman, on July 14. The novel is billed as a sequel to her iconic To Kill a Mockingbird. The Washington Post has published an article detailing some of the issues behind the publication of the new book here. For her own part, Harper Lee has issued a statement as reported in the New York Times. The question has also arisen if the new book can withstand the culture of the modern Internet. Jessa Crispin asks if the book can possibly live up to all the expectations that have been building for decades since To Kill a Mockingbird was first published.

Whatever your opinion on the controversy surrounding Go Set a Watchman is, Patchogue-Medford Library can help you decide for yourself. We have copies in regular print, large print, and audiobook on order and you may place your reserves now. Ebook copies will also be available through our Live-Brary service. In the meantime, why not re-read To Kill a Mockingbird to remind yourself of why it was such a great book in the first place. Or you can try a biography of Harper Lee to learn more about her life. We have The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills or Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields. Anyone in Suffolk County with a library card can also access from home a wealth of literary criticism and background information on Harper Lee through our Literature Resource Center subscription. To access the Literature Resource Center from home you will need your library card barcode or username and your password.

German Genealogy Group to meet tomorrow

The German Genealogy Group will meet tomorrow, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hicksville V.F.W. There will be an orientation session at 7 p.m. The program will be "No Vitals/No Problem! : Building a Family through Circumstantial Evidence." The … [Continue reading]

Learn to Decorate Ukrainian Eggs!

From the very first time I saw a Ukrainian decorated egg (pysanka) I have loved the way they look and been fascinated by how they are made. So last spring when I saw that there was going to be a class in pysanky making here on Long Island, I was on … [Continue reading]

Proposed Library Budget 2015/2016

On Tuesday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. you will have the opportunity to vote on the Proposed Budget for the 2015/2016 fiscal year. Having not pierced the tax cap, and through our coordination efforts with other Suffolk County Libraries, our … [Continue reading]