Children playing

Hutchinson Early Childhood Family Education is hosting a free workshop on the importance of free play for children. The workshop is 6:15-8:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at the Hutchinson High School auditorium and will feature Dr. Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology and author of "Free to Learn."

Research suggests a dramatic decline in children's free play, especially free outdoor play, over the past several decades. This decline in play has been accompanied by dramatic increases in childhood depression and anxiety, as well declines in creativity, internal locus of control and psychological resilience.

During the workshop, Gray will present the logic and evidence behind his claim that the decline in free play is a major cause of these harmful effects on children. He will also describe some of the social forces that have led to the decline of play and suggest ways families, school, neighborhoods and communities can restore children's opportunities for free play.

If you can't attend, the workshop will also be streamed live at bit.ly/grayplay on YouTube. Call Hutchinson ECFE at 320-587-8908 for more information.

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