A study published in 2012 in the Pediatrics Journal found out that preschoolers in child care centres aren’t getting enough outdoor playtime. Children aged 3 to 5 are among the most in need of physical activity, mostly to prevent obesity and foster further physical and cognitive development. The researchers spoke to staff members of various child care facilities, and they found out that parents were somehow more concerned about what their children learn in the classroom, instead of whether they went out and played.
According to experts, playtime is not wasted learning time. Physical activities don’t only promote bodily health. For instance, a simple game where children take turns and count numbers already involves multiple cognitive skills in action. Children learn to apply what they learned from books into real world scenarios by anticipating, figuring things out, and setting rules.
Recommended Playtime Length
Children easily get bored when they remain idle. In venues where kids can party and just plain enjoy themselves, they cannot be held inactive for more than an hour, according to the Nemours Foundation. They also set guidelines which involve 30 minutes of adult-led activities, alongside 60 minutes of unattended play daily.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children must get at least an hour every day to physically unwind and enjoy outdoor play time. And if a child has ADHD, a study from the University of Illinois recommends 30 minutes of outdoor time. This can help the child concentrate better in the classroom, as well as act more calmly at home.
Do Not Keep Your Kid From Enjoying Play Time
The major reasons children don’t get a lot of playtime these days border on safety concerns. Day care staff and parents are largely to blame here, with several even requesting that their child stay indoors instead of enjoying outdoor activities. It’s not that hard to blame them for being concerned.
Instead, experts recommend that parents strongly get involved in shaping child care practices, especially in terms of physical activity. Dressing children appropriately can go a long way to keep kids safe for outdoor playtime. And no, kids will not catch a cold playing in frigid weather. It’s just an old myth that parents should ignore. Whenever there’s a good opportunity for children to play outside, let them.