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The Brain Benefits of Active Play for Kids

Posted on Aug 19, 2016


You're probably aware that regular exercise is important for your child's physical health and wellness, but what many parents don't know is that active play can also affect the way your child thinks! According to researchers, kids who are more active than their peers tend to have better thinking skills and are more likely to excel in school. But just how much exercise do kids need? 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, most of which should be moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise. While that may sound intimidating, it's much simpler than it seems. Kids can get the exercise they need in all sorts of fun ways, from playing tag, jump rope, and hop scotch, to running around the playground, to playing sports. 

According to one study of kids in a 9-month after school program, the children who got 70 or more minutes of exercise per day exhibited improved thinking and multitasking skills compared to their less-active peers. The kids in the program played soccer, tag, and other games, with a focus on movement and play, not competition. These kids were able to perform better on multitasking tests than kids who didn't get as much exercise. Another study shows that kids who meet these guidelines have higher test scores than kids who don't.

So, what can you do to help your kids get enough exercise and give them an edge in school? It's simple: Make movement fun! Most kids are not going to go run several miles like an adult might, but that doesn't mean they are destined to be couch potatoes. Kids need time to run around, play, and explore, whether it's in your backyard, at the neighborhood park, or at your local Monkey Joe's indoor playground. When you bring your kids to Monkey Joe's, they can run wild for hours, rain or shine, in a bouncy indoor playground full of jumps, obstacles, and slides.

No matter what type of physical activity your family enjoys, helping them get the vital exercise they need will result in healthier, happier kids and maybe even better report cards!