Author: Austin Stanfel
Children these days like to stay at home and play video games. That isn’t healthy because long-time physical inactivity causes obesity and stunts their developmental growth. Of the 160 million Americans that are either overweight or obese, 30% of them are under the age of 20. The lack of exercise plus the consumption of unhealthy foods is directly connected to obesity, and various health ailments, and the way to counter that is to encourage play. It is recommended that they play for 60 minutes. In their play, children will discover the technical skills they have that make them more alert to their surroundings.
Playing is natural and enjoyable for children to be active, healthy, and happy. First, there are those muscles they start to develop in their arms and legs, and this also strengthens their bones. Sports require the agility and use of these muscles. Children will see how fast they run and how flexible their limbs are. Children will learn how to move around in coordination and control their body’s direction. The digits on the hands and feet have a purpose, and children will feel this as they play around. Children that aspire to be challenged within their physical limitations, will learn very quickly what they can do at their age.
The next set of skills is technical. Video games may be all visual and the use of coordination with the remote control without looking down, but this is about the educational side of technological development. Play can get them to use their mind for decision making with confidence. Research has proven that play can expose children to ideas of literacy, math, and science. Outside the classroom, there can be creative approaches to function their minds and challenge them to learn, memorize, and concentrate. Children can count, learn the science of gravity, and read the signs. They can use a crank, turn the wheel, and push with force.
Then, there are the mental skills that are acquired through play. Play affects the brain’s own command center, allowing us to think and solve problems. Researchers say that this play is key to healthy mental development, and regular play is part of that. For parents and teachers to help with a child’s early mental development, children can engage in free-play. This means that there are no rules to follow, making children think a lot and have their brains create new circuits in their internal command center, and this controls their social interactions being formed when playing. It carries over in the long run, something staying inside one-on-one cannot do.
Parents know that directly play helps children with many things. They can support and be part of their child’s play to help with the development of their skills. Influencing and encouraging a child’s imagination for physical and intellectual achievements will make play fun. The play reveals what children can achieve if they get proactive in their work, and this keeps them healthy. The many skills that come out of a child are infinite and should be used.