Spending Unstructured Time Together

March 29, 2018
Spending Unstructured Time Together

Time off from school is a great opportunity for children to grow their brain and reconnect with caregivers. 

Unstructured and unplugged time gives children’s brains the opportunity to exercise vital areas that may be neglected during the school week, and when caregivers offer children their full attention, they can help build stronger relationships. 


Here are some examples of how you can use this Spring Break to increase      brain development & bonding.

  • Unstructured, free-time supports what is known as “attachment play.” This type of play enhances child learning and promotes self-esteem.


  • When children engage in freestyle play they are building up the frontal lobe of their brain. This region is essential to problem solving and social intelligence.


  • Simply spending time outside lowers blood pressure and stress, and can help children improve their attention and concentration skills.


  • On regular school-days, it is easy for time with children to become all about instructions and routines. Free time allows caregivers to talk to their children about their interests and comment on the play behaviors they observe their children involved in.


  • The part of the brain that lights up during play is called the limbic area. There are two systems within the limbic area that are activated during time off: the play system and the seeking system. The play system is exercised through games, laughing, and using imagination, while the seeking system is exercised through outdoor adventures and exploring new places.


  • Activation of the limbic area leads to increased feelings of well-being through the release of chemicals such as oxytocin and dopamine. Oxytocin and dopamine relieve stress and make us feel more connected to one another.

For more ideas on how to spend time together as a family, click here.



Content adapted from The Telegraph



Photo courtesy of www.adcouncil.org