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A man is swinging on a tree in a park.

“Nothing lights up the brain like play.” That’s what Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneering researcher in play and the director of the non-profit National Institute for Play said say in his TED talk.

Yup, it’s official: adults need recess as much as kids do! Brown’s research shows that play is a whole lot more than just simple fun. The title of his 2009 book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul pretty much says it all. The main takeaway? Play is vital to human development and intelligence. So play and play hard throughout your life if you want to stay healthy, happy and creative. Want to learn more about the importance of play? Check out these Ted talks, too.

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