It is very exciting for me to see an increasing amount of research and wide ranging information on the benefits of play for healthy brain development. One area in particular that is demonstrated to make an extremely positive effect on growing brains is, movement and physical activity. The thing that seems to be occurring however, is that while the awareness of the value of movement and play is becoming better understood, the amount of time children play is not increasing.
The printable for this week explains the benefits of physical activity and movement. When children move, various brain areas are activated and essential connections for a wide range of abilities are created. As a result of repeating these activities the connections become stronger. There is a saying, "Brain cells that fire together...wire together." The opportunity for this to occur is exactly what play and movement activities provide.
This past weekend I had the wonderful pleasure to sit down and talk with Gill Connell while here from New Zealand. Gill is the founder of MOVING SMART, and co-author of MOVING TO LEARN. In one of her extremely valuable blog posts she writes,
"The most powerful tool for fostering the growth and development of neural connections in your child’s brain is physical movement. "
Movement Activities Advance Brain Growth and Learning!
Too often it is thought that the best way to help children develop and learn is to provide structured activities that require children to sit and not fidget. However, research demonstrates that play and physical activities contributes to the development of better language and social skills. Evidence also reveals that movement is effective in the reduction of stress and leads to greater ability to pay attention.
So, it is essential that all adults ensure that children have the opportunity to use their energy in the ways that comes very naturally! The brains of children say "to learn best, we NEED to move and play!"
Your brain will also benefit,
so join in and have lots of fun!!