Scientific research has lately been linking increased play time with increased intelligence. when children role play, they are actually linking different social scenarios in the Neocortex. in other words playing becomes practise of real life events based on what they are experiencing around them. when children play they learn, and they learn at a far greater pace than being forced to sit down and complete a task or activity.
secondly, low muscle tone in children is a major factor for learning difficulties later statistically speaking, children that have no Gross & Fine Motor skills will get tired quicker, lose concentration faster and effectively cut their mental capacity to learn in half, which in turns effects their self esteem
So what can we do?
Encourage sport and time outside, encourage positive alternatives to screen time (even if that means taking consoles and screens out of the house). I love the developmental attributes cricket has to offer in particular:
Cricket allows children to:
Get outside and play, (allowing Vitamin D absorption too) in essence practise learning. Swinging a bat, bowling a bowl, catching and running between wickets provides the Gross & Fine motor skills required for the big muscle groups. Coordination will increase due to the eye on the ball the whole time. Long periods of concentration are needed to get the particular wicket or desired outcome. Batting and bowling are incredibly strategic elements to do well. Playing conditions or opposition are different which means adapting in real time forcing the analytical side of your brain to develop.
playing at home with mom and dad also breeds confidence and self esteem as this provides and safe and secure environment with no pressure, knowing you are good at something is a major boost for a young child,
Within the context of early childhood development, I would suggest that building confidence or self esteem and developing Gross & Fine Motor skills are the most important and relevant elements for a preschooler. if our children are strong and healthy they have the physical ability to explore and learn, if they have confidence and security then they have the mental ability to learn.
All these aspects are on offer which lead to better academic performance, higher amounts of intelligence and confidence which assists in building social interactions
Finally i will add that to become successful takes hard work, patience and time to refine those skills… Sport encourages a work ethic and perseverance