Making Room for Play!

active children

Regular active play helps children develop many positive life skills and helps form a lifelong habit of daily exercise. Encouraging them to participate in active play daily is extremely important, active play can happen anytime of the day and it can be done in the playground, the backyard, outdoors or inside the home.

A recent survey commissioned by ParticipACTION found 76 per cent of parents in British Columbia with children 12 and under have used a screen to occupy their children when they are busy, trying to get things done or want some quiet time. As a result ParticipACTION and Healthy Families BC recently launched a new co-branded campaign, Make Room for Play, to encourage and support parents, caregivers and educators in British Columbia to reclaim kids’ time spent in front of screens for physically active time.

Turning the television on is easy, most children can spend hours in front of a screen if given the chance, but too much screen time can make it hard for a child to sleep at night, raise a child’s risk of attention problems, and leave less time creative play. Remember that iPads, iPhones and other electronic devices should be considered when limiting screen time as they have the same effect television has.

Starting a new exercise routine this year? Incorporating 60 minutes a day of physical activity into your child’s day is just as important and it can help develop healthy muscles and strong bones, reduce childhood obesity, increase their attention span and social skills and more.

Visit for more information and tips on how kids—from toddlers to teens—can reduce screen time and increase play time, including:

  • Make family rules that limit how much screen time your kids are allowed each day
  • Eliminate background TV as it’s likely to draw your child’s attention. Instead, turn on music
  • Set a good example and limit your own screen time
  • For younger children, avoid using screens as an “electronic babysitter”
  • For older children, don’t allow a TV, computer, or cell phone in your child’s bedroom

Love going for walks with my boys

At home we have set rules about screen time and we go outside to play at least once a day, we keep the radio on during the day and avoid relaying on electronic babysitters.

Going for walks is fun and we all get some exercise and fresh air at the same time, we usually go to the local park and the kids play in the playground. I find that taking the extra time for active play can be very rewarding. Remember that active parents raise active children and you can easily start today!

Do you limit screen time at home? Is active play a priority at your home?

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by ParticipACTION BC, all views and opinions are my own.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

15 responses to “Making Room for Play!”

  1. Great reminder! Active play is so important for children.

    • It is extremely important Marissa 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. We really limit screen time at home as well, children watch way too much TV nowadays, its crazy with the cellphones and video games too.

    • I agree! Luckily it is easy to unplug and go outside to play!

  3. I love the first photo how you captured him storming around the corner using some of that surplus energy that all kids have – and I often wish I had too :-). It really is important that children get plenty of exercise and often I fear that they don’t get anywhere near enough. I remember as a child that we’d be out playing on the street with other children – only going home for food, drink and the bathroom. It’s more difficult to do that these days and that is a real shame the games we played and the fun we had together was fantastic.

  4. Love the commercials about this I have been seeing. My daughter hasn’t napped since she was 2, so we do screen time pretty much every day and sometimes it goes on too long. I’m promising myself to get a lot better at decreasing this time. I just find it hard because I need a break in the afternoon. We go out every day to an activity plus 30-60 mins of outdoor time a day.

  5. Mychildren liked to play outside all summer and liked to skate on a neighbourhood pond with other children in the rural area where we lived.
    I find now that games on ipods, ipads and computer are taking up possibly more screen time than TV. I know it is very important to have outdoor play.

  6. It is so easy today for children to have access to screen time…definitely have to make time for outdoor play + time to use their imaginations!

  7. Good tips. We are actively working on decreasing their computer/electronics time, by encouraging them to read, participate in karate or go play outside with friends

  8. My sister is really good at limiting screen time at home with her family. I remember growing up there were kids EVERYWHERE on my street, and now that isn’t such a common sight.

  9. In my area I have not seen one kids out playing in the snow this year,that just terrible

  10. Play time is important for every stage of life

  11. Our little one here can run from morning till dark….got me all tired just watching him

  12. I was born before most people had TV’s and it was a wonderful time for children. We usually only were home long enough to eat and sleep. During the summer, especially, we were outside playing games in the evening and going to the nearby beach in the afternoons.
    i lived in a small town where children were free to go from yard to yard and play with friends. I remember homemade see-saws made out of a ladder over rubber tires. This could hold about 5 or 6 children on each side. We would sing songs and go home reluctantly when it was nearing dark.
    There were very few overweight children or adults for that matter.

  13. The more active time i find the better they rest at night

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