In an article published on December 23rd, in The Conversation, Dr. Patrick Lewis and Whitney Blaisdell, founder of Project Play YQR consider how the pandemic and its restrictions have affected play.
The impact has been significant, and, as they argue, has centered play largely around the home.
Three of the recommendations Lewis and Blaisdell make include setting a tone for neighbourhood play, getting outside and arranging a playful environment.
They posit that by in large children have been expected to adhere to provincial health guidelines in schools that include mask-wearing and physical distancing, and that these protocols can be expected to be followed even during play, particularly outdoors.
The cooler weather has resulted in many communities flooding their outdoor rinks, grooming cross country trails and tobogganing hills, and, if you live in Regina, access to the largest outdoor rink in Western Canada at Mosaic stadium.
Play is not only recreational; it is an integral component to physical and cognitive development, creativity, and balancing mental health.
Getting outside and playing, encouraging free unstructured play, at any age, (while being safe and careful) can support well-being in the midst of the pandemic.