One study found that only 20 additional minutes of sleep can improve kids' grades.
Most of us know that developing good habits (and hopefully a love of reading) is critical to doing well at school.
Lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems in kids, including poor attention, behavior problems, academic difficulties, irritability, and weight gain.
But even small amounts of additional sleep can have big impacts.
“Sensory experiences," explains one early childhood educator, “provide open-ended opportunities where the process is more important than the product; how children use materials is much more important than what they make with them." Parallel play, or the type of play in which kids play next to each other, begins in toddlers.
But even for older kids, parallel play can help develop critical social skills.
Children need to explore their own limits, to be able to assess risks, and to learn how to negotiate their environments.
Researchers theorize that risky play, found across all cultures and in other mammals, has a evolutionary role in preparing offspring for life without their caretakers.
Kids who learn about new foods, and how to prepare them, may be more likely to choose more nutritious foods later on.
Kids who help take care of family pets may be less anxious, less likely to develop allergies and asthma, and are more active.