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Play Pals

Recent study shows creative sibling play time leads to learning.


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A recent study published in the Journal of Cognition and Development found that when siblings are allowed time for unstructured play together, learning occurs spontaneously. During these times both older and younger siblings were observed asking each other questions and taking advantage of teachable moments, such as providing how-to instruction while building a tower of blocks. Study authors recommend parents provide both toys and time for kids to play together without interference. Unstructured play examples:

  • Using building blocks 
  • Drawing, coloring or painting on blank paper
  • Playing dress up 
  • Climbing trees and running around outdoors 
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