How Play Helps Kids Grow and Develop!

Inside: Highlights from Dr. Stuart Brown's TED talk about the importance of play and how it can help kids develop socially.

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Play matters, and it makes a difference for children as they grow and develop. Children learn best through play. One of my favorite books all about the impact play can have on social development is by Dr. Stuart Brown called Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul. Dr. Brown did a TED talk all about play. Here are some of his major points:

  • Play is more than just fun, it is practical, makes you more adaptable and is important for our survival

  • Play actually has an impact on the brain.

  • There is a biological component to play; animals play in nature. There are some really neat clips with both different species of animals playing, and animals and humans playing together. 

  • There are several different types of play. Dr. Brown specifically highlights the importance of social play - “if you want to belong, you need social play”  Social play is key to making connections to others.

  • Play is not just for kids. His project “From Play to Innovation” focuses on bringing creative thinking, innovation and problem-solving in the workplace.  One thing they talk about is how to make meetings less boring. What a good topic!

I really enjoyed this TED talk and would highly recommend that you take a few minutes and watch it.


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