After reading the “toddler maximum effort” story, I was thinking back to when Sophie was an infant. I noticed that while she was crawling around or playing, she was usually covered with sweat.
We adults sometimes think that because kids are not good at the things we take for granted, their play is not focused or meaningful. In fact, babies are far more likely than adults in engage in prolonged “maximum intensity” effort. Productivity is our default mode, while laziness must be learned!
The activity we call “play” refers to its low economic value to adults, not to a difference in the level of effort or concentration.
I would argue that most caregivers in West systematically discourage kids from meaningful self-directed work until they become the average lazy adult. We invented concepts like “adolescence” as the label for the chronic disease we created by interfering with the natural development of children through forced schooling, the prohibition of child labor, limits on unsupervised outdoor play, etc.