If you grew up with an obsession with dinosaurs or you have a little sibling or even a child who freaks out with joy at the sight of a T. Rex, it’s all good. Kids obsessing over dinos is nothing new, and according to a new study, it’s a major sign of intelligence.
- Obsessing over stuff is good for kids’ brains. A joint study out of the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin discovered that engaging in super intense interests can “enhance perseverance, improve attention and enhance skills of complex thinking as the processing of information” in children’s brains.
- Kids are naturally drawn to dinosaurs. According to the study, kids go crazy for dinosaurs pretty much before they even turn one. While only 20% will still be obsessed once they get to school, the time they spent intensely watching Jurassic Park on repeat and playing with brachiosaurus toys will do a lot to increase their brain’s higher understanding as well as their linguistic skills.
- It all comes down to conceptualization. Researchers believe that dinosaurs are so instrumental in a child’s ability to learn because it’s a “conceptual interest.” In other words, dinosaurs don’t exist so playing with them requires a particular amount of imagination and ability to understand the concept that they once roamed the earth but no longer do.
- You should encourage these obsessions by engaging in “pretend adventures.” This means you should pick up one of the dino figurines (or Pokemon toys, Barbies, whatever) and engage in play with your child to further encourage their imagination. The effect this has on their brain can be outstanding.
- Encourage your kids to have conceptual interests and to accept others who do too. It’s a shame that by the time kids get to the age where they’re old enough to attend school, there starts to become a particular amount of peer pressure to NOT have interests deemed as “weird.” Being obsessed with dinosaurs past a certain age would probably count here, and that’s a shame. Interests like these are VERY good for kids, so the more we encourage them and teach acceptance, the better off they’ll be.