In an age of sedentary lifestyle, gadgets, stressful work life of parents and much more, planning a physical routine for kids is becoming dismal. While we may think of compensating that with hordes of toys and several other activity boxes, yet the truth doesn’t get sidelined. Truth, in its most blatant form, is that there is no antidote for a healthy dose of physical play.
Be it structured or unstructured, physical activity of some form is crucial for a healthy body and mind. To attain that holistic wellbeing, kids should be exposed to a healthy physically active lifestyle, right from an early stage. Running around in the open fields, climbing up and down the stairs, free play around the garden or play area to the much more planned sports, each has benefits much more than mere motor skill development.
To emphasize and elaborate the benefits, let me explain the same through some highlighted pointers.
- Boosts brain development: Most of the child development experts suggest that 75 per cent of a child’s brain development happens right after birth and they get strengthened with more and more physical play. Any form of physical play helps to build and form connections between the nerve cells and the brain, thereby improving a child’s gross and fine motor skills, including hand-eye co-ordination, sense of balance, sense of speed etc. Not to mention, social skills, including problem solving skills, language and literacy skills, creativity and even, personal awareness of self also gets a boost. A healthy and satisfactory physical play does a lot in boosting confidence and self-image. Hence, an active physical life, be it in an infant or a young child, promotes early brain development and learning.
- Keeps health problems at bay: Numerous health problems can be kept at bay with an active balanced physical life. With bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle at foray, many children are developing health issues to the tune of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, heart diseases etc. To ward such health hazards, an active, healthy physical routine in kids is crucial. Plus a physical routine also helps in keeping them fit and active.
- Builds specialized physical skills: Children learn to walk and eventually run, but outdoor play like hopping, sliding, catching, bouncing, throwing, kicking, jumping and striking, all build additional skills that can prep them for a certain type of sport in future. Even outdoor games and dance in a physical routine of a child are a good way to forge some kind of specialized physical learning.
- Physical play need not be only outdoor: Indoor play can also serve as a good platform for physical play, provided you are able to make it a tad bit conducive for your child. Indoor games, which involve running, or games like playing hide and seek, hop like a frog, bowling or cycling in the courtyard(if you have one)can be a fun way to boost physical play. If nothing comes to your mind, then simply dancing to the tune of your kid’s favorite dance number can also serve the purpose. Sometimes, when supervised properly, indoor physical play can be much safer platform to inculcate a physical routine.
- Improves emotional equations: Physical play sometimes offers a lot of bonding time for parents with their children. Hiking, bicycling or even taking a stroll around the neighborhood together will be much more beneficial for both of you than watching TV or any other gadget together. The latter has no active participation from both, but a planned physical play will have! With physical benefits, you will also reap in the emotional benefits in your relationship with each other.
- Learn to take risks and much more: Physical play, of any kind allows children to test their own physical strengths and push it against the edge to make certain things work in their favor. Through physical play, kids are able to explore their own strengths, while at the same time exploring the world around them. From sense of balance to speed, to what is risky to what is safe, a lot of things are learnt by a child through his own observation, alertness and physical prowess.
- Provides an opportunity to socialize: Socializing on a regular basis, by way of physical play in kids, teaches stuff like leadership skills, negotiation, and decision making to group skills. Children learn how to behave in a certain way, so as to keep their friends continue the play. They learn to adapt, befriend while creating a satisfactory play time for themselves.
- Keeps them interested in other activities: A healthy physical routine will help your child, stay interested in other activities to the tune of academics as well, in near future. A healthy body will foster a healthy mind, therefore helping a child to stay interested, active and attentive to several other on-physical activities as well.
In an age, when stress is creeping in through competition and from the pressure of staying ahead all the time, a healthy regular physical routine, looks like a saner and safer way to keep our kids’ minds and bodies in place. Plan a physical play time for your kid, of whatever age he or she may be, and let them indulge in some kind of physical activity. Doesn’t matter if it’s not in the form of a skill based class or session, sometimes an unstructured, yet physically active play session can also be as beneficial as any other. Physical fitness is a lifelong gift that you can give to your child and what better than investing it in today through a focused physical routine for your child! Find out what your child loves and frame a plan today!