The Ultimate Block Party's Blog

How Does Play Shape The Brain?

Posted on: October 1, 2010

Did you know that having positive play experiences literally changes the architecture of the brain? Neuroscience research shows enriched experiences, such as childhoods filled with play and physical activity, promotes neural networks!  When children engage in the world around them, they explore properties of objects, discover new ideas, and practice skills— which simultaneously activates a variety of brain regions! Science suggests that this activation helps form connections and neural networks.

Want a hands-on brain experience? This Sunday, you and your family can explore “How play make the brain hum with activity” in an Ultimate Block Party activity sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Your child will be able to create new works of art on a huge seven-foot, interactive, three–dimensional sculptural “brain.”  Your child will get to send “play messages” into the brain and after the event, you will be able to read the messages of all the kids at the Ultimate Block Party on CMOM website.   Thanks, CMOM, for bringing such an informative and fun activity to the Ultimate Block Party.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Interested in Learning More?

Fox, S. E., Levitt, P., & Nelson Iii, C. A. (2010). How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture. Child Development, 81(1), 28-40.

Chaddock, L., Erickson, K. I., Prakash, R. S., Kim, J. S., Voss, M. W., Vanpatter, M., et al. (in press). A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children. Brain Research.

This blog was written by Dr. Kelly Fisher, Postdoctoral Fellow at Temple University, and Dr. Jennifer Zosh, Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine.


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  • Amanda Gambill: Playworks is so happy to have the Ultimate Block party here in Baltimore! The event is going to be amazing! We are also looked forward to being the mo
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  • Beth Kimberly: Absolutely! Recess is an invaluable part of the school day. I love that, as you point out, "there were NO negative impacts of recess." I find it awful
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