Creativity. Movement. Connection. How do activities like sports, music, dance, art, writing — and all sorts of playful, self-directed passions — help sustain kids’ mental health and well-being? How can adults — caretakers and educators — best support children’s hobbies and passions? And how can they support and encourage activities that protect mental health in adolescence?
- Sean Cassel, assistant principal and supervisor of instruction, Seneca High School, Lenape Regional High School District, Tabernacle, New Jersey
- Molly Easterlin, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles; lead author of study on team sports participation and mental health outcomes
- Lorraine Orr, executive vice president and COO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Aysha Upchurch, lecturer on education and artist in residence, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Providing young people with opportunities to help others can reduce stress and create a sense of community and purpose.
- Play is the work of childhood and parents, caregivers, and educators should create time for it throughout the day.
- Remind students about teamwork and having fun. Nurture joyful activities to boost confidence and self-esteem.
- Association of Team Sports Participation With Long-term Mental Health Outcomes Among Individuals Exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (JAMA Pediatrics)
- Playing Teen Sports May Protect From Some Damages Of Childhood Trauma (NPR)
- Empowering Kids with Skills to Manage their Emotions and Build Resiliency (Boys & Girls Clubs of America)
- How Community Service Supports Students in Tough Times (Edutopia)