Care about your child's development? The prescription is playtime

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The American Academy of Pediatrics is warning parents that playtime isn't a luxury, but a necessity.

"Playtime is important because it helps children develop in a very well-rounded way," said Jennifer Harris, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Baylor Scott & White Health. "Physically, mentally, socially, and in their communication skills; it's really important from infancy all the way to their adolescence."

But how much? The American Academy of Pediatrics and Harris herself recommends 30 minutes to one hour of per day. Harris says organized playtime, like sports practice, is good for the body, but really it's the imaginative free play that gives the full benefits.

"Let them pretend to be a pirate, or whatever they want to do," said Harris. "And if you as a parent want to play with them, it's even better for you both."

For the full conversation with Harris, see the video player above.

Check out the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics in the Related Links section.