Running. Jumping. Digging. Walking. Skipping.
I’m always amazed at kids. Their energy is endless. Their minds are so creative.
If you asked a child to “go play” what would they do?
Run. Jump. Toss. Kick. Skip. Hop. Use their imagination in countless ways making up the rules for new games and beyond.
Play is disappearing at home, in school and in communities. It’s hard to believe that 70% of moms played outside when they were kids whereas 31% of their kids play outside today.
31%!!! I was floored by that statistic.
As a kid it’s second nature to play. It’s what you do. You are in a constant state of motion. You don’t consider it exercise. But at a certain point in the life cycle, play takes on a different term. Movement becomes exercise. And in the process, a lot of people get turned off by it and stop doing it. Play becomes a dirty four letter word.
I always thought that happened later in life but maybe it’s happening earlier?
Balanced and active play lays the foundation for a skilled, healthy, resilient and successful society. When we don’t have that foundation as a kid, what happens when you become an adult?
Like a lot of kids born in the 70s and 80s, we grew up playing outside. We were told not to come home till the street lights came on during summer vacation. We rode our bikes everywhere. My dad went so far to remove a piece of our TV so we couldn’t watch it during the summer. Back then it was the worst thing ever but now I think it’s quite funny. But you know what? We survived and thrived every summer because of it.
Times are definitely different. Letting your kids wander around town all day long is kind of frowned upon by the authorities. But that doesn’t mean you should lock your kids in the house and never let them see the light of day!
With my kids, I’m teaching them to look at play and therefore, exercise, as fun. I want them outside every single day. It’s easy during the summer. Who wants to be inside on a gorgeous day? But with the school year about to begin, we’ll continue to find places of play. Sure they have gym class, recess and sports but there’s still room for more play.
We are fortunate to have a large backyard that is perfect for playing. Kicking the soccer ball around, digging in the dirt, swinging on their swings, playing catch or Frisbie – the possibilities are endless. Ron even made a zip line for the kids recently. Ok, we say it’s for the kids but Ron and I use it too. Now that is pure play fun!
Fueling play is just as important. CLIF Kid Zbar® has important nutrients for active kids. Made with organic ingredients and are non-GMO, there’s no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor or synthetic preservatives to make you wonder what exactly are you eating. It’s just the right portion size for kids in flavors that they love. And adults love them too. I’m quite fond of the Iced Oatmeal Cookie flavor. It’s so good!
To see a great reminder of why play is so important, be sure to check out this CLIF Kid video.
The biggest thing is that my kids see Ron and I playing alongside them. By setting an example, they are more likely to follow along. How can I tell them to go play outside while I’m sitting inside working on the computer or watching TV? Our places of play are everywhere. The world is your playground. Play on it!
Make play a priority in your families life. Your kids need it!
What do you do to encourage play?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.