While many children will automatically engage in active play, others may need a bit of encouragement. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association has classified the level of play that is considered to be healthy for most children. Currently, less than 33% of children engage in enough activities that are considered to be at an “active to a healthy level.” This amounts to participating in just 25 minutes of high-calorie-burning physical activity three times a week.
Children over two years of age, for example, should have at least one hour a day of moderate physical activity, as recommended by the American Heart Association. While some children at this age may engage in moderate physical play activities off-and-on throughout the day, others may be more inclined at specific times of the day, such as following their afternoon naps.
Studies show that when children play, it stimulates their brain development. In order to further develop their brain’s cognitive and other abilities, children need to engage in different types of gross motor activities on a regular basis. This is extremely important within their first six years; otherwise, they may experience limitations throughout their life.
In addition to television, children are being introduced to a variety of electronic devices at a young age. Approximately 66% of parents are concerned about the amount of time that their children spend on these devices. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted research with children between the ages of eight to 18. They found that children within this age group spend 4.5 hours a day watching television. This includes viewing television shows on their mobile phones and the Internet. Regardless of the device, it’s been found that when children spend over four sedentary hours watching television, that they are more prone to being overweight.
Another important finding comes from researchers that followed over 1,000 families with activity trackers. When parents engaged in more exercise, so, too, would their children. As with other aspects of parenting, this shows that many children will engage, or attempt to engage, in some of their parents’ behaviors. When these are positive, such as being more physically active in acceptable ways, then this can make a notable difference in a child’s overall health and well-being.
Have you considered creating an indoor playground space for your children? When you have a large den or family entertainment room, having indoor soft play equipment can assist with keeping your children active. If you’re planning to renovate your garage or basement, these could also be excellent areas for indoor soft play equipment.
Do you live in an area with inclement weather? When you have indoor soft play equipment, this may just inspire your children to put down their electronic devices and turn off that television set. When you contact a company that has indoor play structures for sale, they will be able to tell you about the different types of indoor play equipment they have available, including jungle gyms! Furthermore, if you’re still looking for playground ideas, they will be able to make several recommendations.