Children Who Don't Play Have Smaller Brains!

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from GameTime

    SILVER SPRINGS, Md., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As
 we celebrate National Playground safety week, society tends to focus on safety
 as the most important part of creating play environments for children.  Safety
 is one of the pillars of playground development and one that IPEMA, the
 International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association, takes very
 seriously.  While safety is an important part of playgrounds we must remember
 why we build and maintain playgrounds for children.  Play is the first word in
 playground and the reason why we want to create challenging and fun
 environments for children.
     Biologists who study play conclude that the brain stimulation received
 during play is critical to the growth of neural synapses in that play
 experiences help form and hardwire the brain's circuits.  In addition, a
 rocking motion associated with swinging develops the cerebellum and vestibular
 brain systems associated with balance.  For children, it is play, not direct
 instruction, seclusion, or even abuse that positively affects brain
 development.  Brain scans of Romanian orphans clearly show that play
 deprivation results in biological regression of brain development.  Baylor
 College of Medicine reported in 1997 that children who do not play develop
 brains 20-30% smaller than normal for their age.  Human interactions and
 environments also shape the emotional brain, with levels of neurotransmitters
 like seratonin being linked to positive early experiences.  Physical activity
 releases endorphins, which give us a feeling of well-being and a tolerance for
 pain.  Evidence gathered through advances in technology reveals the profound
 relationship between brain development and play.
     As academic pressure increases in schools we need to remember that play in
 outdoor environments has many benefits for children.  Evidence from research
 into brain development shows that reducing play opportunities for children
 will have consequences for children while creating enriched, challenging
 environments like well designed playgrounds will encourage social, emotional,
 physical and cognitive growth for children.  Neuroanatomist Marion Diamond
 explains "Children need to run, and hop, and jump and do all the other things
 that kids do to develop the whole cortical mantle."
     To learn more about the value of play to children, visit IPEMA's website
 at www.ipema.org to review related articles.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X73851882
 
 

SOURCE GameTime
    SILVER SPRINGS, Md., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- As
 we celebrate National Playground safety week, society tends to focus on safety
 as the most important part of creating play environments for children.  Safety
 is one of the pillars of playground development and one that IPEMA, the
 International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association, takes very
 seriously.  While safety is an important part of playgrounds we must remember
 why we build and maintain playgrounds for children.  Play is the first word in
 playground and the reason why we want to create challenging and fun
 environments for children.
     Biologists who study play conclude that the brain stimulation received
 during play is critical to the growth of neural synapses in that play
 experiences help form and hardwire the brain's circuits.  In addition, a
 rocking motion associated with swinging develops the cerebellum and vestibular
 brain systems associated with balance.  For children, it is play, not direct
 instruction, seclusion, or even abuse that positively affects brain
 development.  Brain scans of Romanian orphans clearly show that play
 deprivation results in biological regression of brain development.  Baylor
 College of Medicine reported in 1997 that children who do not play develop
 brains 20-30% smaller than normal for their age.  Human interactions and
 environments also shape the emotional brain, with levels of neurotransmitters
 like seratonin being linked to positive early experiences.  Physical activity
 releases endorphins, which give us a feeling of well-being and a tolerance for
 pain.  Evidence gathered through advances in technology reveals the profound
 relationship between brain development and play.
     As academic pressure increases in schools we need to remember that play in
 outdoor environments has many benefits for children.  Evidence from research
 into brain development shows that reducing play opportunities for children
 will have consequences for children while creating enriched, challenging
 environments like well designed playgrounds will encourage social, emotional,
 physical and cognitive growth for children.  Neuroanatomist Marion Diamond
 explains "Children need to run, and hop, and jump and do all the other things
 that kids do to develop the whole cortical mantle."
     To learn more about the value of play to children, visit IPEMA's website
 at www.ipema.org to review related articles.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X73851882
 
 SOURCE  GameTime