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Biological anthropologist Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., wrote an excellent article for parents about the cognitive benefits of play in children that I’ve got to share. It is clear, well-articulated, and based on solid and fully-referenced scientific evidence.

To cut to the chase, here is what Dr. Dewar found: 

Play is crucial to the healthy development of children’s minds.

“Science confirms our intuitions about the benefits of play. Play appears to have important positive effects on the brain and on a child’s ability to learn. Want specifics?

Here are a few examples of the cognitive benefits of play:

  • Play opportunities improve memory and stimulate the growth of the cerebral cortex
  • Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells
  • Kids pay more attention to academic tasks when they are given frequent, brief opportunities for free play
  • Play develops children’s language skills & promotes creative problem solving”

To read the full article, click here.

What types of play do your kids get into when left to their own devices?

Share your stories below!

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