Play pays: The rich benefits of tree-climbing, firefly-chasing, unstructured play (and why your kids need more of it this summer)

Why all of our well-meaning attempts to fill up our children’s summer with enriching activities may actually be harming them – and why we need to back off a little and let them just be kids.

by Madeline Levine

If you’re like many parents, your child’s summer may already be booked up with “enriching activities.” Maybe you’re shipping him off to a rigorous math or computer camp designed to give him an academic edge. Or perhaps she’ll be living at home but attending an educational day camp or an intensive sports camp. At the very least you’re using the break from school to double up on her (already daunting) schedule of gymnastics and dance classes, supplemented with an ambitious summer reading list.

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