At UrbanMommies some of our most popular articles focus on ‘energy busters for toddlers’, ‘top fun and educational iPad apps for kids’ and ‘games to play at the beach’.  In North America, we place an incredibly high value on playtime and as parents, we are taught to spend at least 30 minutes per day on the floor with our kids, building lego, throwing a ball or stacking blocks.

The other day, my 5 year old and I waited for my older son to finish his tae kwon do class at our local community centre.  While we waited, we… blush.. played tag in the lobby.  This boisterous disruption would typically be frowned upon in another atmosphere, but his giggles incited smiles on faces of all of the other parents.  I felt like a rockstar.  Best Mom Ever.   (Little do they know…) And my child was happy, active and connected.  The approving looks from other moms only reinforced that in our society, we value play pretty highly.

Skills learned from sport teach our kids determination, leadership abilities, fairness, equality, how to be a part of a team, how to balance play and school, drive, and discipline.

Don’t you think it’s odd that only 5% of Canadians surveyed in a 2012 Ipsos Reid poll believed that play is important in developing countries?  Read: Play is a luxury only when healthcare, conflicts, education and other problems are dealt with.  I’d love to try and explain that to my 5 year old.  “Sorry dear.  We can’t play ball.  We need to debate health care reform and do something about gun control first.  Maybe when you’re older.”

Don’t the lessons learned through play work towards resolving all of these big issues?

This is what Leveling The Field with Right To Play is about.  According to the Canadian Council on Learning, play nourishes every aspect of children’s development – it forms the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life.  Play paves the way for learning.