Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Due to the many myths that exist on the topic of early brain development, I am dedicating this week to sharing the realities of what children need. Each day throughout the week, one myth will be clarified. It is my hope that we can quickly make truth common knowledge.

Myth #2: Taking a child to many classes and scheduled activities will make a child smarter.

Truth: While the brain does like to be stimulated and does not like boredom a child does not need or benefit from too many classes. The brain needs unstructured time to explore, to try new things, imagine, build, run freely, and just play. The higher "thinking areas" of the brain are enhanced through self directed activities. In fact creativity comes from a relaxed state not through a structured environment. When children are over scheduled, they miss the chance to use their imagination and learn skills through discovery. 

The bottom line: For optimal brain development a child needs unstructured time to play. 

For further information read the article, Free Unstructured Play Is Essential For Children. The article includes a link to a study from the AAP, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds (PDF)

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