Why Children Need to Daydream
When it appears a child is doing nothing, such as lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling or doodling in the margins of their notebook, they may actually be doing something quite critical: allowing their brain the time to process and consolidate the information from the day. It’s not only children that do this: have you ever been reading a long passage and then found yourself staring off into space?
Our brains automatically take breaks so we can integrate and understand the information we take in. It also helps us think creatively and innovate. That’s why I strongly advocate allowing children time to chill, free play, daydream, sketch, noodle, or just plain stare at the wall. It is every bit as important as reading, music, and sports.
And if we teach them now that building in time for relaxation and integration is vital, they will carry that habit with them into adulthood. Rather than overscheduling them with multiple after-school appointments, give them time to relax.
This doesn’t mean they have to be inert. Some students like to color or paint, others like to skateboard, others like to listen to music. But the point is to make this time for relaxation so their mind can be refreshed and ready for their homework or the next day at school.