Playtime Improves Child’s Brain Development

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:interactive play, Playground and brain development, child's play

  • Playtime improves child’s brain development: According to the latest research, time on the playground may be more important for children’s brain development that time spent in the classroom. As Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada explains: “The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain. And without play experience, those neurons aren’t changed. And it is those changes in the prefrontal cortex during childhood that help wire up the brain’s executive control center, which has a critical role in regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems. So play is what prepares a young brain for life, love and even schoolwork.” However, in order to produce this sort of brain development, children need to engage in plenty of so-called “free play”; that means play without coaches, no umpires, no rule books. Some research has also been inspired by the way animals play. For example, researcher Jaak Pankseep from the Washington State University has come to believe that play has a very different purpose. As he explains: “The function of play is to build pro-social brains, social brains that know how to interact with others in positive ways.”
  • Ten cheapest health foods out there: Eating healthy doesn’t have to break your budget, as many healthy foods are commonly available and inexpensive. The following is the top ten list based on cost per serving of each food, calculated by using the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WebMD: #1 Oats: cost per serving: 13¢; #2 Dried beans: cost per serving: 14¢; #3 Eggs: cost per serving: 16¢; #4 Watermelon: cost per serving: 17¢; #5 Brown rice: cost per serving: 18¢; #6 Popcorn: cost per serving: 20¢; #7 Bananas: cost per serving: 21¢; #8 Cabbage: cost per serving: 27¢; #9 Onions: cost per serving: 28¢; #10. Beets: cost per serving: 51¢. Read the original article for detailed nutritional values and health benefits of each of these foods.
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