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 http://www.participaction.com/make-room-for-play-bc/ 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
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.