The University of Colorado released a study earlier this summer on just how important playtime is for kids, and some might be surprised. 

According to the study published in Frontiers, executive functions in childhood predict important life outcomes. How does one develop executive function? By playing. Unstructured, unscheduled play time is one of the most valuable educational opportunities we give our children whether that is playing at the park or building with Legos or visiting the zoo.

In an article on The Atlantic, writer Jessica Lahey explains that "when we reduce the amount of free playtime in American preschools and kindergarten children stand to lose more than an opportunity to play house and cops and robbers."

Kindergarten teachers rank self-regulation as the most important competency for school readiness; at the same time, these teachers report that many of their students come to school with low levels of self regulation. There is evidence that early self regulation levels have a stronger association with school readiness than do IQ or entry level reading or math skills, and they are closely associated with later academic achievement. {Source.}

What does all that mean? The more opportunity your child has to play, the better they will do in school long term.

With play lacking and test taking rising in our schools, children are at greater risk for anxiety, depression and many students, especially boys, struggle with self regulation and executive function skills.

What do I think? I tend to agree. The lack of playtime in kindergarten was not only a source of frustration and heart ache when our now 8 year old was in kindergarten but also one of the reasons we've opted to send our five year old to Montessori school. I think that more playtime not only in kids' home lives is good but school as well can only lead to good things.

Your turn, what do you think? Do you believe the correlation between playtime, executive function and future achievement? 

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