As your fall schedules fill up with school, therapy, sports activities, remember that play time and downtime are equally important!

As a new research paper in Pediatrics tells us, play has many benefits.

Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function (ie, the process of learning, rather than the content), which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions.

Pediatricians are even starting to prescribe play to emphasize playful learning as an essential part of a balanced curriculum!

NPR breaks the benefits of play down even further into 5 proven benefits of play.

  1. Play is essential for healthy brain development
  2. Play reduces obesity and associated diseases.
  3. Play helps children manage stress and even recover from trauma.
  4. Play helps families bond.
  5. Play contributes to academic skills.

So as you’re preparing your kids’ schedules this fall, make sure you factor in critical time to play!