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This Is How to Prepare Your Children for Future Success

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What kind of play helps strengthen children in key areas for future success? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Bill Poucher, computer science professor at Baylor University and executive director of ACM-ICPC, on Quora.

From ages five to twenty-five, brains re-wire themselves. Make sure your children have life experiences that will help them learn more effectively. Play is one of the best ways to do this.

Fill your children's lives with good music and teach them to sing or play an instrument. Teach them to play ball sports and show them how to get better. Play strategy games with them and show them how to play better. Enjoy role play. They will get better.

Why? Music is structure and process. It also helps emotional development.

Play smart. Ball sports help build spatial reasoning. If you are a baseball catcher, you really need to understand where that ball is going to hit the glove. Ball sports prime children for geometry and teamwork.

Strategy games help children understand rules and consequences. Those that require making alliances open up the world of negotiation. This prepares them for algebra.

Role play helps you understand and relate to others, encouraging teamwork and empathy.

I'm a granddad. Did you notice that I put family in the play picture? I'm not a psychologist, but I do know this. Kids need encouragement as well as discipline.

Right now, Amrita University has a program that could help over 100,000 kids learn to play games that build the intuition needed to do well in STEM. It takes a lot of volunteers to make it work. Shout out to Amrita University!

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