Brain Development and Play

I found this great resource for teens, families and educators on twitter, anniefox.com.  I really enjoy her podcasts and I watched this one recently that is right in line with my thinking about the importance of play.  She spoke with a brain development specialist and educator, Deborah McNelis.  The highlights:

  • Improving brain development does not mean pushing kids to learn more at younger ages.

  • A child needs to have their basic physical needs met, they must be safe, they need to have loving interactions and plenty of PLAY for healthy brain development.

  • Play means learning through experiences, experimentation, movement, and trial and error.

  • You don’t need to do structured activities to support healthy brain development.  The best thing you can do is be aware and integrate play into every day.

  • Encourage children to evaluate themselves rather than having them depend on adult praise.

  • Focus on the positives - pay attention to what your child is capable of, the things that you love about their personalities, and try not to compare.  

I hope you enjoy the podcast!!