What we mean by ‘play actively
Playing takes various forms and helps the child in their growth and development. When children play ‘house’ or re-enact fairy tales, they develop imaginary skills. Building puzzles and solving the Rubik’s cube helps to develop problem-solving and attention skills. Swinging on monkey bars, jumping, dribbling a soccer ball and balancing on a beam help with the gross motor and balancing skills. Being actively involved in whatever form playing takes place is therefore not just for entertainment, but important for children’s health and well-being.
Taking part in the kind of play that involves movement for at least one hour a day is especially important for ensuring your child’s health. The less time your child spends choosing to sit or lie down and the more time spent on moderate (riding a bicycle around the yard/block, dancing) or vigorous physical activity (jumping rope, running, hiking uphill) instead, the less likely they are to develop obesity in childhood. Being active will also make them feel capable and motivated to participate in other activities, including team sports. As they grow to be physically active teenagers and adults, they will continue with such healthy habits and will be less likely to develop chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure or certain cancers.