Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Staying active in the cold

It's easy to hibernate this time of year. It can be most comforting to curl up with a blanket, a good movie and a cup of cocoa.
Especially when it is dark and cold and on most days lately ,dreary.

Remember that:
  • Children who are provided with ample time to engage in self-directed play benefit in a variety of ways. Child driven play in early childhood promotes the well being of the child; it contributes to the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of the child.

  • Children between the ages of one and five should participate in at least two hours of physical activity each day, mostly through unstructured active play.
How do we as parents promote play?
First Tip: Limit video games and TV.

Second Tip: Encourage active play; this doesn't necessarily have to be in a structured format such as a team sport. It can include open play at an indoor playground in the winter like the Tree House or open gym at a local school. Other ideas like sledding, skating, and skiing work well with preschoolers. Just don't set your expectations too high, remember to have fun. Also, young children will love to design a crawling tunnel in the house, or build a snow fort. Parents can include all members of the family by organizing a winter "family Olympics" event. The idea is to get moving and play!

The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Development http://www.suite101.com/content/the-importance-of-play-in-early-childhood-development-a225507#ixzz1A5FaOQcR

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