The Fun of Learning

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Happy Spring! As it warms up and our world reopens (yay!) I hope you are finding joy in possibility.

I’ve started recording new episodes for The Recess Life podcast and I can’t wait to share them with you soon!

For now I wanted to share some play-related news and resources.

The Fun of Learning

1. Why fun improves learning: Fun is a great stress reliever and puts us in a great mood. Despite beliefs in our society that fun is frivolous studies show that it improves our ability to learn.

There are three main ways that this happens:

1) A happier mood makes our brain more flexible to absorb information.

2) When we engage multiple senses, strong neural connections are formed during learning.

3) The brain is designed for deep learning, so the richer the experience the more it will tether to us for the long-term.

In essence incorporate as much fun as possible in your learning experiences. The end of the article provides tips on how to do this and the first one is my favorite: Use the SHoP rule – Surprise, Humor and Play 🙂

2. Sesame Street is talking more explicitly about race:  The beloved children’s television show Sesame Street is introducing two new muppets who will address race head-on. The muppets are a father-son duo named Elijah and Wesley.

The article also shares the history of how Sesame Street has addressed multicultural and societal topics including incarceration, poverty, HIV and autism. Sesame Street is a great example of why fun enhances learning.

The way adults are optimized to learn is not that different from kids. It’s great to learn about racism through reading, but how much more impactful is it when we can see Elijah the muppet speak to the experience of being black?

3. Improv to improve…everything: When we think of improv most of us think of performing in front of an audience without any preparation like in the show Whose Line Is It Anyway. Wayne Brady, entertainer and one of the stars of WLIIA wants to build an empire that takes the tenets of improv into impacting businesses and the lives of youth.

Improv is an amazing tool for building life skills and interpersonal relationships through games and sensory experiences. It might even help you on your path to nabbing an Academy Award nomination. (make sure you watch Minari ASAP) Can the principle of “Yes and” change lives? We sure think so!

Having fun isn’t reserved for the times we’ve “earned it” only.  It can be a part of every aspect of our lives, including something that is seemingly boring like learning. I hope this spring has some happy learning ahead for you! I’ll “see” you again very soon 🙂




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