In an age where tv, computers, tablets and mobile phones are becoming the norm for entertainment it is easy to see why children are becoming more inactive day to day and why as parents we need to keep on top of it by encouraging sports and activities away from the screens. It’s not only a child’s brain development which suffers but too much time in front of a screen may also adversely affect a child’s muscle and bone development, posture, neck alignment, eyesight, self esteem and confidence. As a child matures this lack of activity can result in an increased risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. As parents it’s not always easy to encourage a child to take part in active play but like anything the earlier we start the easier it will be and the more likely they are to continue in later years.
How much active play is enough?
It is suggested that children and teenagers get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, even more than that is going to be beneficial to their health – there should be no limit. For kids to be active they need to be given the opportunities to do so whether its sports, exercise at school, playing with friends or taken to any of the indoor facilities like a Chipmunks indoor playground, specially designed for kids active play, entertainment and learning.
How can we help kids be active?
- Be a role model. By having a positive attitude towards physical activity your child will not think of it is a chore but entertainment that’s fun.
- Get involved. Kids need attention and love when we take part in their games.
- Encourage outdoor activities like kicking a ball, bike riding, swimming or running.
- Make activities a family affair. Getting everyone involved with activities will show children that it’s a great way to connect and spend time together. Go for a walk, bike riding or team games like mini golf, soccer or cricket.
- Invite friends to join in. Mixing a playdate with physical activity is also a boost for a child’s social skills. Invite friends to join in with team games or a visit to a Chipmunks indoor playground.
- Alternative transport. Look at other options for travelling to and from school. Take the bus and get off a little earlier to continue the distance by foot, bike or walk. Even parking a distance from your destination to get those extra steps in.
- Birthday parties are a great opportunity to buy gifts that will get other kids moving. Balls and other outdoor games will encourage children to grab some friends and get outside. Their parents will thank you too!
Food is fuel and with physical exercise its important that a child is well nourished to keep up their energy levels and replenish lost vitamins and minerals. Teaching a child to make healthy food and drink choices and by limiting intake of sugar, salt and saturated fats will ensure they are prepared for an active lifestyle. Proper water intake is essential to a child’s general health and should be significantly increased when they exercise.
What to do if your child’s not active?
You don’t want your child thinking it’s a chore to be physically active. If your child is new to this way of play start slowly and introduce small amounts then gradually increasing. Testing different activities until you find one or more they enjoy will keep them entertained and interested. Some children are more drawn to team activities where others prefer to go it alone or in smaller groups. You’ll just have to try a few to see what sticks. In this day and age kids are always going to be drawn by the bright lights, music and interactive activities on screens but being aware of how long they spend on it and keeping track of what is being watched will greatly increase your chances of getting them up and off the couch. Accepting that they are going to want to keep using them but limiting when and the duration in which
All Chipmunks indoor playgrounds have been designed for children to play freely with the ability to explore the different zones and equipment while parents can supervise from the playground. With a huge range of equipment which children can climb, ride, jump and interactive activities kids will be kept busy for hours. When you’re a parent of more than one child finding activities where everyone is entertained can be difficult but because Chipmunks has been designed for children aged 0-11 years you can bring all your little ones in together and let them play in their suited age zones. Not only is it a win for you but our unlimited pay for play pass means they can stay and play all day. Plus, our onsite cafe offers delicious food and drink so everyone can refuel for lunch and then get back out there and play while you relax and enjoy a break.