NYT: Let the children play (some more)

September 9, 2009 at 11:56 pm 1 comment

From Stuart Brown, founding president of the National Institute for Play and author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul:

For most American children in the not-so-distant past, “going out to play” was the norm. Today, according to a University of Michigan study, children spend 50 percent less time outside than they did just 20 years ago — and the 6.5 hours a day they spend with electronic media means that sitting in front of a screen has replaced going out.

Through the lens of play research, we can see that there is a direct line between play deficiencies and some frightening public health and social trends: tragic statistics for obesity, 4.5 million children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, an increase in childhood depression and classroom behavioral problems involving violence, and an inability to interact well with peers.

Just an hour a day of vigorous play — running, chasing, games like tag or dodge ball, and even dealing with or avoiding being excluded from these activities — can provide intense skill learning. Active kids are also more facile intellectually and perform better academically in the long term.

More here.

(HT: MH)

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Entry filed under: play, think. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. jleeger  |  September 10, 2009 at 3:09 am

    love it

    Reply

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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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