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LIGHTBRIDGE ACADEMY BLOG

Physical Activity is Just as Important as Learning through Play

No one can deny the importance of learning, but physical activity is also a major aspect of a child's growth and development. Children need space to move and physical activity is not limited to children who can walk. We are always looking for ways to get them moving, and to move in ways to develop.

It can be tough to encourage physical activity when playing on screen devices can be so much more tempting, but creating time to address body movement is crucial for healthy development. It's our society and technology that is causing children to limit their movement. There are very few children who naturally aren't very physically active. What we want to be careful about is to balance the screen time and limit what's appropriate with getting kids outside and moving. It is important to limit and utilize screen time in ways that are beneficial to children, but to minimize it in a way that they are movers.

Also, we need to stay sensitive to children who are not necessarily innate athletes. Some kids, for example, might be more introspective and inclined to activities such as the arts. It's not good or bad to be one or the other - but we want all children to be healthy, safe and develop good eating skills and good movement skills that are going to benefit them through life.

Activities as simple as going for a walk or to the local park or even just one’s backyard can be hugely beneficial. While there are fun things we can do inside - we need to set a good example for them. Role modeling is the greatest form of teaching. If we're inside all of the time and not running, walking, going outside, playing sports, etc. then our children will develop those same habits.

Safety will understandably be a concern for parents as their kids romp around, but parents would do well to remember that the possibility of getting hurt comes with the territory.

We need to recognize that childhood comes with bumps and bruises and we need to balance safety with the ability for children to challenge themselves in a physical way.

Parents must be vigilant about making sure that physical-related activities such as gym class and recess remain a valued part of children's school curriculum, and while organized sports are also valuable, they often have a long waitlist. Plus, organized sports shouldn’t be seen as the only opportunity for physical activity.

When you usually ask parents what the best memories are with your kids, it's not going to be the movies you watched or a fancy vacation, it's usually the ones that are tied to motion - walking to grab ice cream together, going on a bike ride to the park or playing together on a playground.

Tags: #Play # Learning # Development # Physical Activity # Outside

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