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Cognitive and Emotional Development Through Play

We some­times neglect to men­tion a very basic yet pow­er­ful method of cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al devel­op­ment, for chil­dren and adults alike: Play.

Dr. David Elkind, author of The Pow­er of Play: Learn­ing That Comes Nat­u­ral­ly, dis­cuss­es the need to build a more “play­ful cul­ture” in this great arti­cle The Power of Play And Learningbrought to you thanks to our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Greater Good Mag­a­zine.

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Can We Play?

– By Dr. David Elkind

Play is rapid­ly dis­ap­pear­ing from our homes, our schools, and our neigh­bor­hoods. Over the last two decades alone, chil­dren have lost eight hours of free, unstruc­tured, and spon­ta­neous play a week. More than 30,000 schools in the Unit­ed States have elim­i­nat­ed recess to make more time for aca­d­e­mics. From 1997 to 2003, children’s time spent out­doors fell 50 per­cent, accord­ing to a study by San­dra Hof­ferth at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land. Hof­ferth has also found that the amount of time chil­dren spend in orga­nized sports has dou­bled, and the num­ber of min­utes chil­dren devote each week to pas­sive leisure, not includ­ing watch­ing tele­vi­sion, has increased from 30 min­utes to more than three hours. It is no sur­prise, then, that child­hood obe­si­ty is now con­sid­ered an epi­dem­ic.

But the prob­lem goes well beyond obe­si­ty. Decades of research has shown that play is cru­cial to phys­i­cal, intel­lec­tu­al, and social-emo­tion­al devel­op­ment at all ages. This is espe­cial­ly true of the purest form of play: the unstruc­tured, self-moti­vat­ed, imag­i­na­tive, inde­pen­dent kind, where chil­dren ini­ti­ate their own games and even invent their own rules.

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Brain Exercise & Fitness Articles and Custom Content

Over the months we have received many requests for good arti­cles that could be reused in a vari­ety of places, from a hos­pi­tal newslet­ter to a cor­po­rate well­ness e-newslet­ter and a num­ber of web­sites. We want to reach as many peo­ple as possible, so tomor­row we are launch­ing a free Con­tent “Brain Feed”, and also cus­tom con­tent ser­vices.

In short, we are going to offer a week­ly arti­cle in the new SharpBrains free con­tent feed. This feed is designed to help web­site and newslet­ter pub­lish­ers dis­sem­i­nate good infor­ma­tion on brain exer­cise and fit­ness. 20 arti­cles are avail­able imme­di­ate­ly (check them in our Arti­cles sec­tion), build­ing on the con­tent we have writ­ten in this blog.

And, if an orga­ni­za­tion wants good con­tent on brain health/ training/ fit­ness to dis­trib­ute inter­nal­ly or exter­nal­ly, we can help.

On a relat­ed note, we just joined the Blog­Burst net­work to offer our blog con­tent to a vari­ety of news­pa­pers. Let’s see how these ini­tia­tives work!

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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