I used to worry that on the rare occassion my son voluntarily told me about things that happened during his school day it is always something that happened whilst playing during break time. But it seems I shouldn't be concerned. According to various scientific studies, play time and the creativity that it encourages helps build childrens brains in a way classroom lessons don't. Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada says "The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain, and without play experience, those neurons aren't changed." Free play, unstructured and without rules, enables kids to be creative, to react to events and make new decisions to take the play in a new direction. It builds social and team skills, resilience and teaches the importance of partaking and contributing. Most recently my son has told me about the Royal Family he and his school friends have created. It includes a King and Queen, princes and princesses (with a full line of succession to the throne), courtiers and heads of various important public functions. He tells me about the day's events in the 'Kingdom' and how they have effected the family and its governence. The interaction, contribution, cooperation and imagination of all involved is simply astounding, and it is teaching the kids important life lessons that are often neglected in the classroom. Of course the accademic development of our kids is vitally important and I'm in no way suggesting a kid's life should be all play and no work. But neither should it be all work and no play. And our focus as parents should reflect that.