Monday, December 16, 2013


As I look at Christmas gift ideas being advertized this year I cannot help but become increasingly concerned.  There are so many different kinds of technological 'toys' being offered that I fear kids are becoming even less likely to participate in physical play than ever before.

How can we get our kids up and outdoors, enjoying both physical activity and face-to-face communication with others?  How can we create a balance between sedentary or restful play and hard-out exercise like running, riding, climbing and hiking?

Evaluate -
1.  Observe your children's activities in general.  How much time do they spend:
     a) Sitting watching TV or movies?
     b) Playing games on the Internet or Ipad?
     c) Talking on the phone to friends?
     d) Reading books or researching information on the Internet?
     e) Doing physical exercise - e.g playing outdoor sports?
     f) Spending time outside in imaginative play, alone or with friends?
     g) Talking face-to-face with friends and family?

2.  Take a good look at what your kids are asking for, for Christmas.  Is there a natural
     balance between tech and physical games or toys?

Action -
1.  Work out a weekly program that is divided into sedentary as well as active play.
     e.g. Create time for family games and energetic outdoor activities.  Nominate time
     for quiet play or reading.
2.  Spend time finding out what your kids' interests really are and how you can help
     make their dreams come true.
3.  Encourage healthy friendships where kids benefit from each others' interaction and
     not be negatively influenced.
4.  Allow xxxx time for passive TV/Movie watching and technological games.
5.  Make sure your kids get fewer rather than greater numbers of tech. games and activities.

Written by Sally Burgess

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