Taking Back Playtime!


Empowering children with creativity and confidence, this is my passion. Creativity is not just painting, drawing and artistic skills—creativity in it’s simplest form is divergent thinking, synthesizing experiences and thought into novel and useful ideas.

Powerful is a word I want my students to use as they describe themselves; powerful, smart, kind, and that they can do hard things (resilience). That anything is possible.

As much as I wish that my goals of creativity and confidence were the norms in education, they are not. Since 1981 children’s free time has dropped by an estimated 25%, rigors and expectations in school have increased. Outside and unstructured play have all but been eliminated in some areas. Studies show, no surprise, that creativity in our youth is on the decline.

Why do we care? If children know the pertinent information, what are we so worried about?  Well . . .  research has shown creativity to be one of the greatest indicators for lifetime success; research that has spanned the better part of the last two decades. Free play is the most direct path to instilling that creativity in our youth.

Unstructured play is where creativity is born. When the brain is allowed to rest, to meander, that is where information can be reconfigured and where new ideas spring into existence. For example, think about the awesomeness that happens in our brains as we shower or in the first moments of the day before the “have tos” set in. This is where my best ideas happen. TV, internet and screen time inhibits this opportunity for original thought. More free play, less screen time—this is THE answer.

Okay, I know, easier said than done. In our fast paced lives how do we support children in developing an ability to engage in free play, imaginary play and still keep our sanity. How do we even begin? In this question Hideaboo products were born. Our goal for this blog, our current and upcoming products, and accompanying teach-ables is focused on supporting busy parents in guiding their children to the empowering confidence and success that creativity provides.  

Creativity is where it’s at…it’s time we take back play time!

If you want to learn more take a look at this article: “The Need for Pretend Play in Early Development.”

Author: AshLee Winterrose, Teacher and Hideaboo Co-Founder

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