Posted in biology, education

Hands-on needed for cognitive development

Once again! A study in Britain found that if children (and adults) do not use their hands in play and work and tangibly mess with stuff they lose cognitive ability, including the ability to conceptualize and solve “easy” 3D real-life problems.
Is it possible that we are seeing students turning away from Science and Math because they aren’t playing enough with Legos and Lincoln Logs? Is it likely that students are receiving worse and worse Science and Math scores because they aren’t taking enough Art and Music classes? Duh!
Sorry, I don’t mean to be a jerk about this, but time and time again research has shown that we need hands-on activity and cross-brain interaction, which is mainly found through art, play, exercise, and all that other stuff that’s being cut from schools, in order to develop and sustain ourselves as human beings. And yet schools are still cutting recess in order to supposedly raise test scores, when obviously that doesn’t work.
The time for a revolution is now! Stand up for your right to paint, to kick a soccer ball, and to blow stuff up! Do it for the children!



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.