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happylittlegems wellbeing fact of the day:

Holidays make your child happier and smarter

As adults we love holidays, time to unwind and de-stress, but holidays can be so beneficial for little ones too. They don't have to be fancy or expensive foreign holidays, but time in a new place exploring and playing.

happylittlegems reasons why holidays are so good for children:

  • Building sandcastles, playing games, jumping over waves is fun for all the family and great "attachment play" which is vital for bonding and helps build self-esteem.

  • Holidays give you time away from the stressed-filled life at home so you have time to really talk to your child, building a healthy relationship.

  • Holidays advance brain development in children as they use the PLAY and SEEKING system (discovered by Prof. Jaak Panksepp, a world-leading neuroscientist at Washington State University). The brain's PLAY system is exercised every time you bury your children's feet in the sand and the brain's SEEK system when you go off exploring a new place. This in turn triggers well-being neurochemicals including oxytocin and dopamine which reduce stress and activate warm feelings.

  • Really using the brain's PLAY and SEEKING systems well, as often happens on family holidays, brings about brain growth and maturation.

  • Research shows that being in nature for only 20 minutes improves a child's attention and concentration levels.

  • Being in an enriched environment (a place with lots of social, physical, cognitive and sensory interactions) improves physical and mental health in children. When children are in enriched environments they are using 70%-100% of their brain development.

So dig out your bucket and spade and head for the seaside, the benefits are endless... for you and your child.

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