Less Play, More Sensory Issues
Writing in the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss quotes Angela Hanscom, Founder of TimberNook, who explains how the decline in play in preschoolers is leading to a rise in sensory issues:
"As parents and teachers strive to provide increasingly organized learning experiences for children (as I had once done), the opportunities for free play - especially outdoors - is becoming less of a priority. Ironically, it is through active free play outdoors where children start to build many of the foundational life skills they need in order to be successful for years to come...
Preschool years are not only optimal for children to learn through play, but also a critical developmental period. If children are not given enough natural movement and play experiences, they start their academic careers with a disadvantage. They are more likely to be clumsy, have difficulty paying attention, trouble controlling their emotions, utilize poor problem-solving methods, and demonstrate difficulties with social interactions. We are consistently seeing sensory, motor, and cognitive issues pop up more and more in later childhood, partly because of inadequate opportunities to move and play at an early age."