This great piece on the science of free play will have you shooing the kids outside -- with friends or siblings -- faster than you can say, "Paw Patrol" or even,"Super Mario Smash Brothers."
Either way, that's fast.
Send them out with some stuff -- boxes, chalk, balls, old junk like a broken suitcase, plastic tub or anything you think is useless -- and they will figure out how to have fun. When they do, says Trine Jensen-Burke in a Her Family blog post, their brains are on fire, in a good way. Coolest point?
1. It changes brain structure
Sergio Pellis, Ph.D., an expert on the neuroscience of play recently noted that play actually changes the structure of the developing brain, strengthening the connections of the neurons (nerve cells) in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain considered to be the executive control center responsible for solving problems, making plans and regulating emotions.
Because unstructured play involves trying out different strategies without particular goals or serious consequences, children get to practice different activities during play and see what happens.
By the way, this article is followed by one titled, "Best Herbs for Dementia." That's how quickly this whole adventure of being on earth goes by. Childhood is the shortest part of it. Let them play while they can!
Illustration by www.modup.net/