Navigation

Subscription

Recent comments

Play is More than Fun

Reading:
Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed

One study found that kids who played with blocks scored higher on language tests than kids who had no blocks. Perhaps the children with blocks simply spent less time on unproductive activities such as watching TV--but the end result was good for them in any case.

On August 1, 1966, the day psychiatrist Stuart Brown started his assistant professorship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 25-year-old Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower on the Austin campus and shot 46 people. Whitman, an engineering student and a former U.S. Marine sharpshooter, was the last person anyone expected to go on a killing spree. After Brown was assigned as the state’s consulting psychiatrist to investigate the incident and later, when he interviewed 26 convicted Texas murderers for a small pilot study, he discovered that most of the killers, including Whitman, shared two things in common: they were from abusive families, and they never played as kids.

Brown did not know which factor was more important. But in the 42 years since, he has interviewed some 6,000 people about their childhoods, and his data suggest that a lack of opportunities for unstructured, imaginative play can keep children from growing into happy, well-adjusted adults. “Free play,” as scientists call it, is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress and building cognitive skills such as problem solving. Research into animal behavior confirms play’s benefits and establishes its evolutionary importance: ultimately, play may provide animals (including humans) with skills that will help them survive and reproduce.

By Melinda Wenner | January 28, 2009 - The Scientific American

Watch Dr Brown talking about his research at this web address:- http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fu...
The video is about 27 minutes long but comes with subtitles and an interactive transcript.

Scientific American - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-serious-need-for-play

Related article – http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/ar...

Questions for discussion:

  1. How much time did you spend playing when you were a kid? What kind of games did you play? Do you still have time to just play and have fun?
  2. Do children today have enough play time? Do they play the same games as you did? How do the childhoods of today’s children compare to yours?
  3. How important is playtime for children? What are the best types of games for children to play? What is the right balance between play and study?
  4. How do you think play affects a person’s character? How has your childhood shaped your personality?
  5. Research suggests that play helps children to learn important survival skills. What skills do you think kids learn through playing? What valuable lessons did you learn as a child?
  6. Do you consider yourself to be a well-adjusted adult? Explain.
  7. Children today spend a lot of time studying or taking part in structured activities and also spend a lot of time watching TV and playing computer games.
    What effect is this having on society?
    Are we causing long lasting psychological damage to our children?
    Are we making them into serial killers?
  8. What type of activity is most useful or beneficial for a child’s development? How would you scale these playtime activities in order from the most beneficial to the least beneficial for a child’s development? Explain your reasoning. What are the benefits of each activity?
    • Watching TV
    • Dancing
    • Building blocks
    • Surfing the internet
    • Reading comic books
    • Playing sports
    • Going to the park
    • Free time with other kids
    • Making models
    • Drawing/painting
    • Playing an instrument
    • Playing outdoors
    • Playing computer games
    • Playing with pets
    • Studying

Первая встреча - бесплатно!

Телефон в формате 79032223322

ECC in social networks