Play isn't just for the 'early years'
We all need play, and time without schedules. That's true for all ages, adults to babies. These breaks from achievement and agendas are when one can synthesize what's been learned, reflect on successes and failures and create new ideas.
Free Forest School posted an interesting piece about just this phenomenon: older kids need play too. Play is not just for the early years. It is essential to growing the skill of curiosity and independent thinking. Check out what these FFS had to say about play for elementary ages and older.
"But as kids “age out” of the early childhood window, parents often come to us looking for guidance in developing a program geared towards older elementary kids — with more guided activities and concrete lesson plans, teaching things like plant identification, wilderness survival skills, and animal tracking techniques.
These requests are driven by the premise that as kids get older, they require more structure and guidance to keep their interest. That after age six, or eight, or ten, free play is no longer necessary to prioritize over more concrete, adult-devised learning. But this is a tragic fallacy. In fact, play continues to be a critical way for children to learn, grow, and engage with one another well past kindergarten, into the elementary years and beyond."