The Science of Play: How Playful Learning Shapes Our Brains

Natasha Young

ADHD programs and learning through play at West Coast Centre for Learning

Play is more than fun for children, especially those with ADHD. It’s a key to unlocking their learning potential.  Today we are going to look at how integrating playful learning within ADHD programs can significantly benefit the cognitive and social development of children with ADHD.

Understanding Playful Learning

Playful learning is the cornerstone of many successful ADHD programs. It’s a strategy that takes traditional learning, and modifies it by engaging children in a way that suits their individual learning style. Many children with ADHD find conventional classroom settings challenging, learning with play based activities can provide engaging alternatives that can sustain attention.

Play is also crucial for improving cognitive skills. Engaging in playful activities allows children to work on executive functioning, improve their attention span, and better regulate their emotions. Moreover, play stimulates brain areas responsible for processing, decision-making, and creative thinking. These benefits are essential for children with ADHD, as they navigate both academic and social landscapes.

Social Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Another critical aspect is the development of social skills and emotional intelligence. Through playful interactions, children learn to communicate, cooperate, and understand social cues. They learn empathy and problem-solving skills in a setting that is both fun and educational. These skills are invaluable as they apply them in real-world scenarios, from the classroom to the playground.

Integrating Exercise with Play in ADHD Programs

An important element in many ADHD programs is the integration of exercise with play. Exercise is not just beneficial for physical health but it plays a significant role in managing ADHD symptoms. By combining learning with structured physical exercises, we create a dynamic environment that fosters both mental and physical well-being. Here at West Coast Centre for Learning, our THRIVE program incorporates exercise which is helpful in relieving ADHD symptoms. Active kids aren’t just burning off excess energy, they’re turning on the front part of their brains.

Integrating play and exercise goes beyond immediate learning outcomes, it sets a foundation for lifelong learning and adaptation. Children who engage in this type of learning develop a love for exploration and discovery. These programs not only address the challenges associated with ADHD but also celebrate and harness the unique strengths and abilities of these children.

If you would like more information on our ADHD programs you can click HERE or CONTACT someone from our centre to see how we can help you.


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