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How To Encourage Your Children To Engage In Active Play

From a swing seat to playground parts, playing actively and in the great outdoors (even if it’s just a neighborhood park or in your front yard) are important for the growth and development of any child. Encouraging frequent active play is recommended for all parents and can be more and more difficult as technology becomes more pervasive in our society, as we are often referred to as being fully enmeshed and entrenched in the age of technology.

Technology has now become unavoidable, even for children. The average child older than eight and younger than eighteen watches, on average, more than four hours of TV every single day, and the spread of iPads and smartphones have become useful even for babies and toddlers. It can be fascinating to watch a small child maneuver an iPhone with grace and skill, wondering how they could possibly have become so adept at navigating such advanced technology in such a small span of time. And while technology has had many advantages and positive effects – such as allowing small children to Skype or FaceTime their relatives who live halfway around the country – it is also a topic of concern among the majority of parents, particularly parents of young children. In fact, two thirds of all parents of children of all ages have worried, at some time or another, whether or not their child (or children) is spending too much time engaged and focused on electronic devices while ignoring the outside world.

And though more than eighty percent of all parents do believe it is important for their children to be technologically literate, even more were firm in that they wanted their kids to spend more time playing outside, something that children today are doing less and less of. In fact, the average child today plays outside for an average of approximately four hours a week during months when it is seasonally appropriate. In comparison, their parents spent an average of eight hours playing outside every month. It is also true that an astounding two thirds of all children are not meeting the recommended amounts of physical activity, just twenty five minutes only three times a week.

The implementation of a swing seat and other playground supplies, even if it’s just a swing seat installed in your backyard, can help to facilitate active play, which can, in turn, promote brain development and healthy physical growth. Though simply installing a swing seat and letting your kids have at it may not seem like you’re doing enough, you might find yourself surprised at all the ways your children find to entertain themselves when armed with only a swing seat and their imaginations. After all, studies done on child development have found that boredom can actually be beneficial for children, as it helps to promote developing creativity. More than twenty percent of parents believe that boredom can be a good thing, and letting your child figure out how to entertain themselves with just a swing seat can actually be good for their brain.

All kinds of playing promotes positive brain development as well as the development of fine and gross motor skills. Fine and gross motor skills are a particularly important aspect of brain development, because if they don’t develop in the appropriate amount of time, it is unlikely that they will ever fully form. Fortunately, playing on a swing seat and other forms of outdoor play have been shown to promote the development of both fine and gross motor skills, as well as other types of brain development that is essential to their continued healthy growth.

Play is important for children. Being bored is good for them. It’s important for kids of all ages to exercise their creativity and imaginations as well as get a healthy amount of physical activity. Children who do not receive enough of either could suffer from the effects of stunted brain development, particularly in the realm of the development of fine and gross motor skills. Letting your children play alone with a swing seat or other playground equipment can help their brains, even if, at first, it is difficult to implement.

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