Let Kids Just Play: unstructured play time is actually more important than homework.
Children have lost 8 hours per week of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play over the last 2 decades due to homework.
Decrease in unstructured play time is in part responsible for slowing kids’ cognitive and emotional development. Today’s 5-year-olds had the self-regulation capability of a 3-year-old in the 1940s; the critical factor seems to have been not discipline, but play.
Pretend play is particularly beneficial, so make sure kids have ample time for it.
The Case for Saturday School - WSJ.com http://goo.gl/6IBT - We tend to choose the "more" approach when often the smarter one works better.
Image source: Child playing with bubbles. Wikipedia, Steve Ford Elliott, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.