Decline of Play
Do you remember playing outside until your mom calls out and asks you to get in because its dinner time? Well, most kids today probably don’t have the same recollection because active play has become less and less popular among kids today. It is no wonder that incidence of childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers from the American Journal of Play found that compared to 1981, children from 1997 spent less time at play and had generally less free time. Children spent 18% of their time in school, 145% more time in doing school work, and 168% more time shopping with parents. Children in the late 90s spent only about 11 hours at play per week and these numbers decline as years pass.
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What is childhood without the memories of playing in a playground? Feed your kid with different playing experiencesand feed his mind, body, and soul. For example, running from one playground equipment to another gets children moving while having fun. Each play equipment helps kids get fit: climbing slides for the legs, bars for arms and shoulders, jungle gyms for arms and legs, beams for balance, trampoline for an aerobic workout.
Aside from getting fit at playgrounds, parents and children could also bond over playground picnic hacks. It would be nice to have kids join the planning on what food to bring, what games to play, and spot the perfect location
Play also helps your child develop social skills. Seeing your child making friends and helping other kids is just priceless. During playtime, a kid also develops his emotional and mental toughness. He gets to decide on his own and solve problems. He gets to be the leader, work with a group, and follow rules. Children also learn to handle their emotions and react accordingly depending on the situation. They learn how to deal with stress, anger, fear, and frustrations.
Above all, play is a source of happiness. The experience can’t be replaced by gadgets or consoles. The problem is, we have not only restricted free play (in the effort to protect our children and subsequent lack of time) but also replaced it with more stressful activities.
We have the same number of hours as before. It is not fair to say: we don’t have time to eat breakfast or do not have time to play. Some inalienable truths are: days are going to be more stressful, there will be more distractions, and companies are going to develop more online and computer games. Let us not allow these things to get the better of us and our children. As parents, we should guide our kids toward a healthier life and a better future.
What is your child’s favorite meal to have for breakfast?