As the arts (in school time) gets cut more and more, so does learning through direct experiences. Parents are urged to allow their kids less organized play time out doors and also time to play with "stuff".
In our present culture, children rarely are allowed to take junk and make their own creations from it, but the value of this type of play can't be touted enough. Free play time and the exploration of how things fit together (or don't) actually affects and helps to develop brain function. The learning done during such play time sets cognitive inroads for a greater predisposition to learning higher math functions and other types of learning. Not least of all: Kids love it and It is Free!
(As always, be SURE to moniter children's exploration and "stuff" that is available to them). Rosemary B. is a NYS Certified Educator and holds an MS in Art Therapy. She holds small group arts/crafts classes and does private tutoring for children through adults including the challenged learner; she is a professional development presenter. For a greater description go to Wyzant.com. (use 10536 zip code) Email: email@example.com