The greatest gift you can give a kid is the liberty to express themselves freely on the playground. It is the beginning of creativity in these little minds. In a research carried out by the University of Illinois, covering children between 7 and 9 years, it was reported that significant improvements were seen in the mental skills of children who partook in an after-school exercise program for nine months. In addition, the study reported a substantial enhancements in their capacity to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks.
The Birth of Creativity in the Child
Now, trust me, I know, at face value, it might seem rather counterintuitive to allocate more time for play to your kids; wouldn’t you rather lock them away in a study with a large volume of Calculus to force out the genius in them? Well, the fact is, it’s the other way round. According to the article Creative play: fostering creativity, creative play is expressed in children with their use of familiar materials in more novel and unfamiliar ways, or when they play traditional roles with greater imagination. For instance, when a child builds a car out of cardboard paper, a snowman out of snowflakes, a house out of sand, a complicated interconnection of neurons within their brain takes place. In forming new associations with the familiar world around them, they learn how to look at the world in an unusual way, how to approach a problem from a completely different point of view. It goes without saying then, that it is in the playground the first spark of true genius is ignited in a child.
Improved Concentration and Academic Performance
It’s amazing how the minds of kids are wired, and it is only within the infinite liberty of the playground that they find expression of their true self; creative play frees up your child’s mind and opens up more intellectual space within their mind, improving their disposition to learn better and effectively. This is not just a random claim; a research in 2014, by Oregon State University studied the effects of a DVD - ‘brain breaks’ – in which 5-7-minute-long burst of activities was structured into the timetable of elementary students. The outcome was remarkable; majority of the teachers - 90% precisely – reported the exercise segments had the right length, and there was an increase in the concentration of the kids following the program.
Playful Child; Happy Child
It’s almost as rare as dragon sighting to see a child wearing a frown while enjoying the boundless liberty of the playground. Well, during play, the body releases a group of chemicals designated as the “feel-good” hormones, which include certain neurotransmitters, endorphins, and endocannabinoids; when these circulates in your blood, it fills you up with positive feeling. Anyway, there’s no need getting worked up, trying to figure out the names or pronunciations of these chemicals, the point is, every moment a kid spends in the playground is an exposition to an enduring positivity that cancels out the possibility of childhood depression.
The development of a child should be whole and rounded; kids should be given the freedom for the infinite expression of who they are. Exposing a child to creative play, not only improves their social competence, but also develops their intellect and creativity, as well as their emotional health.
Let children Play!