Posted by: voyagingmind | May 19, 2010


For a while now I have been listening to the Brain Science Podcast hosted by Ginger Campbell, MD. ( where she interviews scientists and authors about their research into brain science.

Brain Science Podcast: Episode 60 interviews Dr. Stuart Brown who has done extensive research into the importance of play.  There is also a TED video on this concept as well.

In the interview he explains that play promotes the following characteristics:

  • development of emotional regulation
  • social competency
  • the ability to be flexibility with something that is unexpected
  • capacity to adapt to a changing world

Dr. Brown goes on to say there is a strong correlation between success and play.  Marian Diamond, teaching at Berkley, discovered that toys, friends, and activity produced smarter and healthier rats.  According to  Dr. Brown the concept of enrichment contains the concepts of play.

He describes what play is and is not:

  1. Play is not a purposeful driven activity. 
  2. The golfer who has become very serious, and is no longer having fun, is not playing.
  3. Play can be risky, but necessary to development. 
  4. Play includes both physical and mental activities. 

As the world becomes more interconnected I believe that philosophies of diversity will become more important.  Maybe play can be one of the elements that helps us and our children to adapt to these changes.



  1. Play is so important, it seems to be a resource that we don’t tap into enough. Every learning experience has the opportunity to be playful. It comes down to a decision on the part of the lesson designer as to if it is going to be playful.
    Brain development and science is so interesting to me, I wasn’t aware of this podcast, thank you so much for mentioning it!

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