Let kids choose their own activities: “Executive function” study says freer kids are better off.

Kids Who Direct Their Own Activities Score Higher on “Executive Function” (Video)

Kids Who Direct Their Own Activities Score Higher on “Executive Function” (Video)

Slate in motion.
July 8 2014 3:49 PM

The “Executive Function” Puzzle

New research suggests kids who direct their own activities have better outcomes.

Children playing in a forest in June 2012 as part of "I Ur och Skur Utsikten," in Lidingö, Sweden.
Children playing in a forest in June 2012 as part of "I Ur och Skur Utsikten," in Lidingö, Sweden. I Ur och Skur means "In Rain or Shine" and refers to the schools that conduct their curricula primarily outside, year-round.

Photos courtesy Matthew Browning

A University of Colorado study examined the schedules of 6-year-olds and found the more free time and self-directed play time children had, the higher they scored in tests of “executive function” skills.

Chris Wade is a New York-based video and audio producer and an occasional contributor to Brow Beat.