What is Free Play?
The Riot Room was started with the goal of providing a safe and clean environment where kids can experience the benefits of “Free Play”
Bob Hughes of Play Education in 1982 described “Free Play” as behaviour which is “freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated, i.e. performed for no external goal or reward”.
The benefits of Free Play on a child’s emotional and physical development are well documented and widely known:
- Physical development - Free Play helps children gain strength become physically healthier.
- Social skills & brain development - interaction among peers improves their ability to share, resolve conflicts, make decisions, communicate effectively, negotiate, and cooperate with each other.
- Independence – Children learn to make decisions and pursue areas of their passion as they are able to move around completely free and unrestricted in such an environment. They learn to manage risk and exercise their memory/creativity.
- Leadership and listening skills – Children need to listen to adults who are ensuring their safety, which helps them develop listening skills. Playing in groups helps them develop leadership capabilities.
- Emotional health and well-being - free play provides happiness, contentment. It helps children develop resilience, increased confidence and improved self-esteem.