As a parent, you want to give your child every advantage in life, so it’s a no-brainer that you’d want to try boosting her intellect. While parking a tot in front of a Baby Einstein video didn’t turn out to be such a smart idea (a University of Washington study found that such video viewing delays small children’s language skill building), exercise actually ups IQ scores.
Any elementary-school teacher will tell you that children concentrate and behave better after gym class or recess. But those aren’t the only benefits of physical activity. After reviewing 14 studies (12 of them from the US), Dutch researchers found that kids’ cognitive test scores and grades are higher if they have outlets, like gym class or recess, to blow off steam. While they didn’t examine how much activity is necessary to up smarts, some is clearly better than none. So encourage your child to play sports and make sure her teachers give daily play breaks.