The Importance Of Play For Kids Fitness This Summer
Covid Has Had An Impact On Physical Movement:
Research collected from The Clinical Advisor states: “The Covid 19 pandemic has had many negative effects on children’s health including widespread physical inactivity. The percentage of children who met the recommended daily activity level dropped dramatically from 69% pre-pandemic to 31% in the spring of 2020 and 38% in the fall of 2020, according to findings from a poster presented virtually at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Annual Meeting (NAPNAP 2021).”
Do the kids in your life fall into that statistic too?
However, if that’s the case, you’re not alone, and you probably want things to change.
Below, we explore play and movement as an important part of Kids Fitness and Healthy Minds and ways to get everyone moving again.
What Is Play, And Why Is It So Important?
According to Active Learning Space, Play:
Is a complex set of behaviours characterized by fun and spontaneity
Can be sensory, neuromuscular, cognitive and any combination of three
Involves repetition of experience, exploration, experimentation, and imitation of one’s surroundings
Play is an important part of a child’s overall well-being and can help them feel more confident, joyful, and resilient. This year of limited opportunities for play, especially outdoor play, has led many children to struggle in acquiring the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional skills essential for healthy development and it’s time to rethink the way our kids engage in daily life.
Through play, the ability to learn through play has been termed intellectual playfulness—a construct that marries open-ended problem solving with opportunities for risk-taking and flow. Intellectual play fosters creative thinking, problem-solving, independence, and perseverance, and also addresses kids’ developmental needs for greater independence and ownership in their learning, opportunities for physical activity, creative expression, and the ability to demonstrate competence.
Restoring children’s free play is an empowering and essential gift, enabling them to grow up to be physically capable, psychologically healthy, and emotionally competent adults.
Encouraging and participating in our children’s playtime will begin moving them towards lifelong playful movement.
Play Helps In The Development Of The Whole Child:
Develops skills in all areas of development: cognitive, physical, communication, and social/emotional. Practice and reinforce these skills in a way that can’t be achieved through worksheets or screen time.
Promotes healthy habits by actively engaging students in the world around them.
Natural stress reliever, and an outlet that allows students to work through their anxiety and fears.
Test out new ideas and make connections between their previous experiences and their active investigations.
Independence, students make their own decisions during play; they begin to make connections between their choices and the natural consequences of those choices.
Supports the development of self-control which is critical for success later in life. Students play because they have a deep desire to understand the world. Play allows opportunities for them to regulate their feelings, delay gratification, and negotiate with others, all important aspects of developing self-control.
The spontaneity of play promotes risk-taking as students interact with materials and their environment. The sense of the unknown helps them develop mental flexibility and executive function.
Develop mindfulness as well as feel safe and secure to try new ideas and experiment. As students become engrossed in play, they suspend awareness of time and space, becoming fully present in the task at hand.