The Importance of Free Play

From Lewis being small, right up to having our youngest three, I have always been a huge advocate of free play. Admittedly, at the time I had no idea it was actually “a thing”, and instead thought that my children were simply entertaining themselves, using their imaginations and, most of the time, seemingly trashing our play room. And as hard as it is sometimes to bite my tongue when they are playing with the tractor in the toy kitchen, or using the doctors kit at the tool bench, I find it fascinating to watch the ways in which they play, and I especially love seeing where their imaginations take them.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term free play, Play England defines Free Play as –

“…children choosing what they want to do, how they want to do it and when they want to stop and try something else. Free Play has no external goals set by adults and has no adult imposed curriculum. Although adults usually provide the space and resources for Free Play and might be involved, the child takes the lead and the adults respond to cues from the child.”

Research by Play England shows that children today lead much more structured lives, with so many classes and activities readily available, and although all of those classes have their place, free play has been somewhat lost in the process.

I know that for me, especially through the Winter months, I have found there are times when my children are sat in front of the television or glued to whatever it is they obsess over on their iPads, and their toys lie discarded on the floor. At just three, four and five, I really want to encourage them to switch the technology off, pick up their toys, and use their imaginations while they are still young.

So when we were asked to take part in the Petits Filous Play Free campaign, it felt like the perfect opportunity for me to really champion free play as part of my children’s day. Launching today, Petits Filous are keen to show the benefits of Free Play and how it forms an important part of a child’s development – physically, cognitively and emotionally.

 As a child growing up in the eighties, there was pretty much nothing but Free Play. My brother and I played from the minute we got up until the moment we went to bed, and I don’t remember having timetables or structures or any of the hundreds of activities and classes that are available to our children these days.

I remember spending hours playing with my dolls house, playing animal hospital with my stuffed toy collection, playing shop with various bits and bobs I had gathered from the kitchen. Through the Summer we would be out from morning ’til night, riding our scooters, playing on our roller skates, building dens or swinging from rope swings. And when I look back at how wonderful my childhood was, I want the same for my own children. 

Often at my parents house, the children pick up a toy which was mine or my brothers, and use it in exactly the same way that we did. My Mum will flick through her photo albums, seizing an almost identical shot, and tell me, “You did exactly the same at their age!”. And I love that, the idea that play is so timeless, that everything can come full circle, and that one day my children will be sitting exactly where I am, watching their own children play in just the same way as they did.

I think that’s why I can really relate to the Petits Filous Play Free campaign, and the ways in which they champion both Free Play and child development.  When it comes to play, there is nothing better than a healthy snack to keep the children’s energy up, and I love that Petits Filous provide my children with the calcium and Vitamin D they need for healthy bones.

Calcium is so important in our diets, even more so given that our bodies cannot make it, and although other yoghurts and fromage frais contain calcium, not all have Vitamin D. It’s reassuring to me as a parent that Petits Filous contain 50% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D, especially during the Winter months when our sunlight is very limited!

A recent Change4Life campaign launched by Public Health England recommends Petits Filous with less than 100 calories per service as a heathy snack for kids.* You can read more about the nutritional benefits of Petits Filous at petitsfilous.co.uk

The great thing about Petits Filous is that they can be enjoyed with Free Play, both indoor and outdoor, at home and on days out. We love the Petits Filous pouches for easy snacks at the park, especially given it can be kept out the fridge for five hours and you don’t need a spoon, and Petits Filous little pots , ideal for little hands.

 I am so looking forward to joining the Petits Filous Campaign and reminding my children that there is a whole world of fun out there beyond the television and iPad. I’m excited to be discussing our experience with the prestigious Anita Cleare, parenting expert and co-founder of The Positive Parenting Project and I’ll be back at the beginning of February to update you on how we’ve got on!

 

**on specific variants: Petits Filous Strawberry & Raspberry Fromage Frais 6 x 47g, Petits Filous Strawberry & Apricot Fromage Frais 6 x 47g, Petits Filous Strawberry & Banana Fromage Frais 6 x 47g, Petits Filous Strawberry Fromage Frais 6 x 47g,Petits Filous Strawberry & Raspberry Fromage Frais 4 x 85g, Petits Filous Strawberry & Apricot Fromage Frais 4 x 85g,My First Petits Filous 6 x 47g, Petits Filous Magic Squares Strawberry & Vanilla 4 x 80g, Petits Filous Magic Squares Raspberry & Vanilla 4 x 80g, Petits Filous Strawberry Pouch 1 x 70g, Petits Filous Raspberry Pouch 1 x 70g,Petits Filous Strawberry & Raspberry Yoghurt 4 x 100g

 I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign about the importance of free  play.

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159 Comments

  1. January 14, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    My son loves the snacks from Petits Filous and free play is so essentials for small and big children! My son is 9 and loves technology however I try to make sure that every day he plays outside.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      Yes its hard as they get older, I think just getting outdoors is a great start. My eldest is 13 and is still outdoors most days! xx

  2. January 14, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    I love this campaign, free play is so important and I’m so enjoying that Emma’s getting to the age where we can see her using her imagination so much when she plays with her toys…it’s so lovely to see xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      Yes definitely. I love watching them when they don’t know I’m there. It’s so cute to see how they play! xx

  3. January 14, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    Free play is so important for little ones. I love letting my daughter roam about with her toys making a mess and having fun!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      Yes! Even when it involves trashing the playroom! At least they had fun! xx

  4. January 14, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    Such a worthwhile campaign – free play and children just getting to be kids and use their imaginations is so importanf. Su

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      Yes definitely Su, it’s so important that our children know how to play, many sadly don’t! xx

  5. Kelly Peters
    January 14, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    I’m a huge fan of free play, or ‘entertaining themselves’ – it is amazing to watch their logic at work. Long before they can speak, our children show us their understanding of the world in this way, its amazing! x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      I agree, I think it’s important for children to entertain themselves too in order for their imagination to grow! xx

  6. January 14, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I love this campaign but find it sad that it has to be ‘a thing’, when we as children had free play all the time. Free play is important to get childrens imagination going

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      Yes I agree Mellissa, I didn’t even realise it was a thing, it’s sad that it has been lost somewhat due to technology! xx

  7. January 14, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    This is what gets me down about video games. There’s zero imagination or free play. The environment, rules and goals have all been set by someone else. Like you say, we had nothing but free play as kids. I went out in the morning (when not at school) and played outside all day. I only returned home for food and sleep!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 14, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Yes I agree, it’s scary how we have had to actively start to encourage free play where as when we were young it was just called play!! I really want my children to have the same childhood that I had, it was pretty wonderful! xx

  8. January 14, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    Free play is really important because it actually shows and tells the parent what the child likes and doesn’t like plus you get to see how interesting your child’s imagination really is. Great campaign.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:08 pm

      Yes definitely! I think children should make their own choices and games within reason! xx

  9. January 14, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    I love free play too. I do set up activities for my girls sometimes but a lot of the time I just leave them to it. Today has been one of those days. My eldest is currently building with magnetic tiles and toy animals.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Ahh that’s so sweet! I love to see the games they come up with! xx

  10. January 14, 2018 / 6:18 pm

    I am a big fan of the Montessori / free play style of play for little ones, nothing too adult lead. Allows for so much more creativity and imagination I think x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Yes me too! Its a great approach and so beneficial! xx

  11. January 14, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    You’re so right about play being timeless. I’m sure my daughter would have been just excited over my Sindy collection as I was!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Oh my daughters play with my Sindy dolls! It’s so sweet to see! xx

  12. January 14, 2018 / 7:24 pm

    I’m a huge fan of free play and completely agree that while structured play has a place, children need the time to develop their own interests, their own creativity and their own personality through free play. I love seeing mine learning about the world around them and making sense of it through their own play and their ideas.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:06 pm

      Yes I agree, I think there is way too much structure for children these days, I much preferred a free approach! xx

  13. January 14, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    I don’t have a children, so I have no experiences in raising the children in the digital era, in some why it freaks me out. When I was young we would play with a card, monopoly, chess a lot of free play with dolls hehe.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:04 pm

      Yes I agree, we just had toys or our own imaginations! xx

  14. January 14, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    I do not have any children of my own…yet! But I agree with what you are saying! Free play is extremely important for a child so they can use their imagination and have fun on their own.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you Mie, it’s lovely to see them play together! xx

  15. January 14, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    I’m the biggest advocate of free-play. As a teacher in an EYFS setting, al spend 98% of the day free-playing and extending children’s interests and it had the best results!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Ahh yes definitely! It’s such a great way for little ones to learn! xx

  16. January 14, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    I can definitely see the benefits of free play. A great campaign – thanks for sharing! x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  17. Laurence
    January 14, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    Wow that’s great, Though I haven’t seen any Petits Filous. Might recommend this to my friends with sons/daughters

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Oh they are delicious Laurence! xx

  18. Marjie Mare
    January 14, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    I can see the difference between my two kids who are 9 years apart. My older used to enjoy free play and I used to take pleasure watching her. Nowadays, I feel like kids are so focused on iPad or videos games, they are missing the best part of their childhood.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Yes definitely! I both love and hate technology, I just want my children to be children! xx

  19. January 14, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    I love the idea behind free play. I think it’s important for children to get to know their own little personalities and use their imagination. It’s adorable to see their creativeness and in time it helps them realise who they are as a person. Making their own memories and choices within reason.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Yes definitely, I love how different their choices are too and how they play with the same toy in different ways! It’s so interesting! xx

  20. January 15, 2018 / 12:21 am

    I’ve never heard of the term free play before now. I guess my children always played free style. I also love to watch them playing when they didn’t know they were being watched. The way their minds work is incredible and fascinating 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:01 pm

      Nor me really, I just thought they were playing. I guess it’s sad really that it has become a “thing”, I am all for letting children be children! xx

  21. January 15, 2018 / 12:47 am

    Totally agree with you on the importance of free play. My lo lives it

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Yes definitely, Im a huge advocate! xx

  22. January 15, 2018 / 12:51 am

    i do not have any kids but i can easily see how important and nurturing is this.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Thanks Patricia, it’s a great campaign! xx

  23. January 15, 2018 / 1:11 am

    I love that you feed your children such healthy products. I can also agree that calcium is such an important part of their diet.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      Yes definitely, its a great (and tasty!) way to get in the calcium! xx

  24. January 15, 2018 / 1:16 am

    I grew up on a farm and my mom was constantly shooing us outside to play. In fact, I can think of very few times our playtime was structured, and we always seemed to fill the hours. I had one friend who lived a mile away. Between fishing in the summer to ice skating on the river in the winter, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      Yes we were exactly the same! We were never bored, not like children these days seem to be?! xx

  25. January 15, 2018 / 2:14 am

    I let my kids play. I sometimes leave things out that surprises them because they forgot they had it. Kids need this free play for so many reasons and benefits.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:59 pm

      Yes I think children need to make their own choices and entertain themselves too, it’s important for them to grow their imagination! xx

  26. Tonya
    January 15, 2018 / 3:08 am

    YES YES YES! Free play is SUCH a big deal! Kids need to be able to use their imagination and feel like their choices in their play makes a difference!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Yes totally, it’s always lovely to see children being children! xx

  27. January 15, 2018 / 3:30 am

    Free play is so important. My boys have restrictions on their kindle fire that only lets them on that for 1.5 hours per day. The rest of the time they are in the playroom (or the living room, or their bedrooms, or the office) and playing. Sometimes they play together, other times they do their own thing. They are 2 and 4, so only in preschool 12 hours per week and we just started swim lessons once a week. Otherwise, I try not to schedule much for them and just let them play while they are little.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Mine love to play together too, although sometimes apart, and it’s just lovely to see. I am all for letting children be children! xx

  28. January 15, 2018 / 3:31 am

    It’s interesting how even though the world has changed so much if we take away the electronics, play really hasn’t. When given the opportunity for ‘free play’ they tend to play in similar ways to the generations before them

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      Yes! I love seeing that too! If you give a child a stick, they’ll still play with it the same way they would 100 years ago! xx

  29. January 15, 2018 / 3:39 am

    I’m not a parent, but I do believe that “free play” is such an important aspect of a child’s emotional and mental development. My parents still tell stories of how my sister and I entertained ourselves as kids and I think it led to us both being creative adults!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Yes definitely! I think the same, my teachers always said I had a great imagination! xx

  30. Shell
    January 15, 2018 / 4:58 am

    Free play is so important to the development of young children. I always made sure my kids had plenty of play time…

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Me too, luckily my youngest three love to play together! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Yes definitely! At this time of year it’s harder to get outdoors but we just wrap up and get those wellies on! xx

  31. January 15, 2018 / 8:44 am

    Thanks for sharing this campaign with everyone! Your kids look lovely!Also, can I ask what camera you use?

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you! I have a Nikon D90 and also the D700! xx

  32. January 15, 2018 / 8:52 am

    You’re so right about the timelessness of Free Play — kids finding their own way and discovering on their own.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      I think children learn more from play than any other avenue, it’s such an important thing! xx

  33. January 15, 2018 / 9:28 am

    We are massive lovers of free play in our house. It helps little ones grow their imaginations so much. Mason prefers it over an ipad lol

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:51 pm

      That’s how it should be. I think the iPad has its place, especially if it gives me ten minutes to cook dinner, but the rest of the time I love to see them play! xx

  34. January 15, 2018 / 10:07 am

    Hey, this is the same case with me, even I love to see where imagination takes my son and the idea of free play is really beneficial for the upbringing of children.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      Yes definitely, encouraging their imaginations sets them up for life! xx

  35. January 15, 2018 / 11:44 am

    You can’t beat petits filous ! They have been around for so long , I can remember feeding my baby sister them , who is now married and expecting her first child ! Free play is something all kiddies should do , I know my boys enjoy free play the best ,no rules to play by just let their imagination run wild !!! Great post !

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      Yes!! It does feel as though they have been around forever, I guess that’s testament to their product! xx

  36. January 15, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    I totally agree for this campaign – free play is a big part for mental development for our youngsters and so important for them to have healthy snacks too.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:49 pm

      Yes definitely! All of that playing makes for hungry work, it’s important to have healthy snacks waiting! xx

  37. January 15, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Like you Laura, me and my brothers were outside nearly all day on our bikes and climbing trees etc. I love watching my younger two make up games – some of them can be pretty random. Sarah Stockley

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:47 pm

      Haha yes!! I sometimes hide and watch them play, at the moment they are obsessed with zombies! xx

  38. Komal
    January 15, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    I don’t have children, but what I do know is to let them be little! They are only Little once!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:47 pm

      I totally agree! It goes by too fast as it is! xx

  39. January 15, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    The idea of free play is something that is very well accepted in Denmark. I totally agree with this as the kids will be more aware for the outside world! Glad your joining the campaign!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Yes definitely, it’s so important that we encourage our children to be children! xx

  40. January 15, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    What a great campaign. It’s so important to encourage free play these days so children don’t rely on technology for entertainment!

  41. January 15, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    I’m exactly like you – I don’t think I realised that when my children are letting their imaginations run wild they were actually Free Playing. Love this campaign!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 9:54 pm

      Yes nor me! I just thought I was making them entertain themselves so I could try and clear up some of the demolition they left behind!! xx

  42. January 15, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    I don’t have kids so I didn’t realise that free play was a thing to be encouraged now. It’s so sad that technology dominates this side of things, I think it’s so important that children are allowed to run around making a mess and some fun with their toys.

    Katie xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 9:51 pm

      I totally agree Katie, it’s sad that we have to actively encourage our children to play. I guess it’s also about not over stimulating our children with classes and planned activities, they need to learn to free play and use their imaginations! xx

  43. Joline
    January 15, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    I grew up in the 80s too and like you, we had nothing but free play! I see my nieces and nephews and I really want to yank those devices out of their hands. It’s so important to bring that back.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 15, 2018 / 9:48 pm

      Yes! As much as technology has a place, I resent it a little for how much it has changed things for our children! xx

  44. January 15, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    This is such a brilliant campaign. I am a big believer in free play – sometimes I love sitting there and listening to what Jack is talking about and coming out with

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Me too! I love eavesdropping on their little games! xx

  45. Ariel
    January 15, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    I definitely agree that free play is super important. I believe it allows children to play however their creative minds go, well okay I do allow free play until they talk about various topics. If they do, then we have a conversation about it. I wish as an adult we could have free play. That would be helpful in jobs!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Oh me too! Adult life is way too structured isn’t it? xx

  46. January 15, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    In order to grow their imagination, we encourage free. We also have an arts and craft room for them.

  47. January 15, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    In order to grow their imagination, we encourage free. We also have an arts and craft room for them. I love all your pictures

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      An arts and crafts room sound amazing! Thank you! xx

  48. January 15, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    What a lovely, positive campaign. And I of course couldn’t agree more about the importance of free play.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      Thanks Emily, Im really looking forward to seeing how we get on! xx

  49. Deb Savage
    January 16, 2018 / 2:15 am

    Free play is so important for kids. It definitely expands their imagination and if they do it on their own it can be even more beneficial.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:09 pm

      Yes definitely, I think children should learn how to entertain themselves too! xx

  50. January 16, 2018 / 3:45 am

    When I was teaching free play was one of my favourite times of day, watching the children play and engage, watching as the year went on how they we from playing next to each other to playing with one another, it was amazing. When I started working in primary school though I could easily tell the differ between the children who had be encouraged to play away from screens and those that just spent all day mindlessly watching or tapping a screen and the difference in their level of development was night and day! In this day and age I think it is paramount to encourage children to play and direct them away from technology so I’m really glad there are campaigns like this and people like you involved.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:08 pm

      Yes I totally agree, it’s evident when a child has been allowed to play and explore and those who have sat infront of a screen. We have iPads and I think they have their place (mainly for long car journeys!) but I much prefer to see my children playing and enjoying their childhood than watching it from behind a screen. xx

  51. January 16, 2018 / 4:50 am

    I so much agree with the free play, rather daily morning I ensure that my kid gets atleast an hour of free play to explore what he loves, try out new things on his own without an goals or judgements. It really helps so much in development of kids.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      I totally agree Jhilmil, my children love to play and I so love to watch them! xx

  52. January 16, 2018 / 5:50 am

    As a kid I was always out playing with my roller skaters. However i was terrible when it comes to imagining stories and playing with characters etc; I was always a crafty person. I think it’s essential to let kids play freely and seeing them all behind their tablets creeps me out a bit…

    Mika | http://www.la-french-connection.com

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 12:06 pm

      Yes I agree, I think it’s great to allow children to do whatever interests them. Free play is so important! xx

  53. January 16, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    I love this post Laura – it’s so true! While I don’t have kids of my own, I grew up with two brothers and a whole load of foster children, and it was so fascinating to see how they’d play with their toys in different ways, letting their imaginations take them to new places, with new stories x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      Absolutely! There is so much to learn from play, I think it’s so important to allow our children the freedom to grow their imaginations! xx

  54. January 16, 2018 / 12:47 pm

    It is such a good campaign isn’t it! Like you, mine just get on with it and I love it when they start making up games and telling stories. Mine seem particularly content when we are outside and especially if they have sticks to play with

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:17 pm

      Yes! Give a child a stick and they’ll play for hours! That never grows old! xx

  55. January 16, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    I’m really enjoying being a part of this campaign too, my kids are great at getting on with their own arts and crafts but sometimes need a nudge to remember to go and play, I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone does!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:15 pm

      Yes Kate, I think it’s lovely to see them play and also it gives us a little break too! I will be following your progress! xx

  56. January 16, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Free play is really important for kids… I am gonna ,make sure with it with my kid too…

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      I guess the best thing is that with free play we don’t really need to find the time, they can play while we clean up! xx

  57. January 16, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    I too didn’t know ‘free play’ was even a thing but if I try to think hard, I do remember bits and pieces of my own childhood and how much I enjoyed it. It is very cute to see kids engage in free play. Some of them even voice their own background music to go with their actions! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:11 pm

      Ahh that’s super cute! Mine love to sing too! xx

  58. Lauren Atkins
    January 16, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    This is such a great campaign encouraging kids to do what ever they ant creatively in their play time, great choice in snack too!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      I agree, and you really can’t beat a Petits Filous! xx

  59. January 16, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    Free play was just so natural when I grew up, it’s a shame it isn’t always that way anymore. I’d hate to grow up in today’s world. Such a great campaign!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      I know, me too. I love technology but at the same time I resent what it has taken from my children’s childhoods. I try so hard to make sure they get to experience all of the things I did – muddy puddles included! xx

  60. January 16, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    This is such a great campaign its reminded me so much already. We lead such busy lives that things like are free play can get forgotten about. Its something I am hoping to address with their help. Look forward to seeing your experiments x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      I agree. We do free play a lot, mainly because with four children mine don’t really do a lot of other activities (I just don’t have the time or the money!) but this has reminded me that they are learning just as much from play than expensive classes! xx

  61. Hannah
    January 16, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    I didn’t realise free play was actually a thing but I realised how that’s how I grew up! X

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      Yes definitely, things were very different back then! xx

  62. January 16, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    Your post is great. I feel the same way. Free play is so important, it learns them how to be patient, that you have to try more than once to make something work and I could go on and on about this. We still don’t have a generation of grown-ups who used smartphones since they were toddlers and I’m little scared of how will all the technology affect their way of thinking about life. If they don’t like the cartoon, they move on to the next. If they don’t like a game on their phone, they simply delete it and download another one. Hm…I don’t like that. ??

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      Yes I agree!! There is far less time for children to be creative these days! I miss a simpler time! xx

  63. Chinedu
    January 16, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! I think it’s great when you let kids creative juices flow – free play allows us to be innovative, daring and spontaneous! The Petits Filous campaign is very good, well done for championing it!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:20 pm

      Thank you, its a great campaign to be part of! xx

  64. January 17, 2018 / 6:44 am

    I really love the idea of the petit filous free play campaign! I too grew up without screens. I loved my little ponies and me and my brother played for hours hanging toys off the banister and trying to run down the hall without them hitting us or sliding down the stairs on a matress! My kids sit on screens now, though when they were little they didnt have them.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:17 pm

      Me too, it was so much fun looking for ways to entertain ourselves! xx

  65. January 17, 2018 / 10:09 am

    That’s great that someone is trying to encourage kids to get out from their technological tools and to actually start playing with things on their own. It’s so important for kids creativity I think.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      I agree, it’s a great campaign! xx

  66. Thena Franssen
    January 17, 2018 / 11:56 am

    Great post, I love this so much. Free play is such a major moment in a childs like to create and be innovative with their imagination!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      I agree, its so important to let their imaginations run wild! xx

  67. January 17, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    The snacks from Petits Filous seem very good. It’s strange times when the one prerogative of childhood- Free play, is so evasive in their lives!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      I agree, it’s one of the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with technology! xx

  68. January 17, 2018 / 1:43 pm

    I have to admit that I didn’t really know that free play was a very real thing until this post. But, I have to agree that it’s so important for parents to allow their kids the time to do what they want, how they want without any interference. Now that my kids are teen, they don’t really do this.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      Yes I was there same until recently, I just assumed my children were playing and that actually, all children did. I think it’s sad that not all children do. It’s important for them in so many ways! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Life was so much simpler back then wasn’t it?! xx

  69. January 17, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Love this post. Not having kids yet and seeing this post, makes me want to have kids soon.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Ahh how lovely! Kids are great. xx

  70. Ankana Silva
    January 18, 2018 / 1:45 am

    Petits Filous products look like the perfect stuff for kids. I have used their baby food products and can vouch for them being nothing short than perfect.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Yes we love them! They are a great snack! xx

  71. January 18, 2018 / 2:52 am

    This is definitely a very important concept! When I was growing up my parents would give my sister and I a huge tub of random lego pieces and we would just spend hours making different creations!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Oh us too! We loved lego! My children haven’t yet discovered it but Im sure they will be the same. xx

  72. January 18, 2018 / 4:03 pm

    Good thing about Free Play is that nobody will stop the kids messing around. They will eventually develop things from this campaign.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Yes I agree, they learn how to use their imaginations and really make the most of their time! xx

  73. January 18, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    It definitely sounds like a great approach!!

  74. January 19, 2018 / 1:28 am

    Thanks for the enlightenment on the benefits of free play. That isnt something I would have thought of in a million years. Hahahahahaha

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 19, 2018 / 11:18 am

      It’s such an important thing for our children, they need to learn to use their imagination! xx

  75. January 19, 2018 / 3:47 am

    I don’t have any of my own children, but I definitely think technology is sometimes doing more harm than good with kids. I grew up on a farm, we had no tv, no devices. We played outside!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 19, 2018 / 11:16 am

      I agree, I hate to see children glued to their tablets when they should be outside playing! xx

  76. January 22, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    I totally agree, kids need free play and it is lovely to watch their imaginations, with my kids I always encouraged this, it is so much nicer than seeing them playing on tablets all the time x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 22, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      I agree, I love to see my children playing rather than cooped up watching the tv! xx

  77. January 30, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    Free play is great, I think it’s sad as adults that we ‘forget’ how to do it. I love that Petit Filous is running this campaign, what a fantastic way to get people really thinking and talking about free play which is so important to out children.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      January 30, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      I agree, I find it sad that it has been become a “thing” as such, rather than just normal behaviour with children playing as we used to. xx

  78. February 8, 2018 / 10:48 am

    I’m a huge fan of free play. My children are older now but I still encourage them to take some time out to just play – not on a device or a console. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on free play. Commenting on behalf of myself and BritMums.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 11, 2018 / 9:16 pm

      Thanks Jacinta. I totally agree, even when they are older it’s important to have that time out. Lewis is almost 14 now and I still encourage him to switch off his x-box and just find something else to do. It was a great campaign to work on, thank you for having us. xx

  79. February 15, 2018 / 1:12 am

    I completely agree with you about free play. I really like doing it as much as I can although lately is hard with all the technology that we have around but when I let my girls do it, they play wonderful and I love seeing how their imagination fly. They can be hours playing and they have so much fun! This is such a great campaign! 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      February 15, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Yes I think it is hard when technology takes over. I’ve found not charging the iPads in the week has made a huge change in our lives! xx

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