Children need lots of play time.
“From ages one to four, children needat least three hours of activity overthe course of the day,” Crawford says.
“Children five and older need at least
one hour of moderate to vigorous
physical activity every day.”
Some of that play can be structured
and led by an adult so children
can learn how to do a new skill or
activity. “Structured activities are
things such as going to the park
and kicking a ball, throwing a ball,
playing soccer or learning to swim or
ride a bike.”
But it’s also important for children
to have plenty of unstructured play,
such as running around or using
their imagination to invent brand
new games and activities. Crawford
suggests allowing most play
As a parent, you can watch, waitand listen as your child plays. Watchto see what your child is interestedin and what he may be strugglingwith. Wait to see how you can offersupport, but give him time to practiseand see if he can figure it out on hisown. Finally, listen to him describehis game or suggest how you can playalong or help. Follow his lead.
actively supervised at playgrounds.
•;Make;sure;your;child;isn’t;wearinganything—drawstrings, scarves,cords, necklaces, even bikehelmets—that can get tangled inthe playground equipment.
•;Make;sure;your;child;is;the;rightsize for playground equipment.Smaller playground equipment isdesigned for children under five toprevent serious injury from falls.
•;Find;the;safer;ground:;playgroundsare safer when deep, loose sand,pea gravel, wood chips or rubber isunder the equipment.
•;Look;for;hazards:;remove;brokenglass, crumbled cans, garbage ortripping hazards.
•;Help;your;children;learn;the;correctway to use equipment, such asgoing down a slide feet first,waiting their turn and walking orstanding well away from swings.Also, they need to understand thatpushing, shoving or crowding atthe playground can hurt someone.