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Active Play as Stress Relief

We all find ourselves dealing with stressful days sometimes and look for activities that will calm us in the midst of the stress. In the library this morning, I looked at the introduction of a new cookbook by Maida Heatter. She talked about baking cookies as her go-to for finding her way past the stress in her day. I can relate to that, because I often bake either bread or cookies when I am upset. Others around you may find yoga, a walk, martial arts, or a game of tennis more beneficial for de-stressing.

Our children can also have stressful days, and their teachers may say things like “Why can’t they focus?” Why can’t kids sit still and listen?”, or “Why are they not paying attention?” Claire Heffron and Lauren Drobnjak of The Inspired Treehouse have some answers for our stressed and unfocused kids. In the introduction of their new book, Playful Learning Lab for Kids, these school-based therapists discuss the vestibular and proprioceptive systems (the sensory systems related to movement), and conclude that kids are meant to move. Sedentary activities such as video games, computers, and tablets, combined with academic expectations that require children to spend much more time sitting at a desk, add up to unfocused, inattentive, and stressed children.

Pencils, worksheets, and computers do not offer a way to success for our children. We can and should do better. With a little effort, we can support active learning in the classroom, and offer children active play options at home. Let’s get moving and promote learning that makes our kids happy, healthy, and active!

Check out Playful Learning Lab for Kids, by Claire Heffron and Lauren Drobnjak, published by Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., 2019.

Blog written by Rebecca Triana

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