Pediatricians at Community Medical Providers are now prescribing play time, and calling on parents to fill the order.
“The most important thing we can give them is us, and give them that interaction. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much we spend on a toy or on a gift, or anything, it just matters that we’re there,” said Pediatrician Dr. Quitong Young.
And this helps.
It’s Lego’s ‘Prescription for Play’ initiative.
The toy maker provides doctors with actual prescription pads calling for play and packs of duplo blocks with endless combinations.
“Cause it’s not all about tablets and videos. It’s about interacting and getting the kids to use their hands and their minds,” said Pediatrician Dr. Veronica Ramirez.
The program started in Fresno last week.
“Just sitting here watching her play with that is like ‘oh’, it takes me back to when I was a kid, and just like the hours and hours of fun that I used to have,” said parent Jed Rhine.
The program is aimed for parents and children who are three year old and under.
Doctors consider this time crucial for brain development.
90 percent of a child’s brain develops by the age of five. Children who don’t develop suffidient language skills in the first five years are up to six times more likely to have reading problems in school.
Doctors say playtime doesn’t have to include the building blocks.
Boxes, wooden spoons, even pots and pans are alternatives.
“We’re just asking for 15 minutes of time. Those 15 minutes will make a really big difference in a child’s, uh, life and in their development,” said Ramirez.
Prescription for play launched in the U.S. In February.
Lego is hoping to reach at least 50,000 children.