Children need lots of play time.
“From ages one to four, children need
at least three hours of activity over
the 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, wait
and listen as your child plays. Watch
to see what your child is interested
in and what he may be struggling
with. Wait to see how you can offer
support, but give him time to practise
and see if he can figure it out on his
own. Finally, listen to him describe
his game or suggest how you can play
along or help. Follow his lead.
actively supervised at playgrounds.
cords, necklaces, even bike
helmets—that can get tangled in
the playground equipment.
size for playground equipment.
Smaller playground equipment is
designed for children under five to
prevent serious injury from falls.
are safer when deep, loose sand,
pea gravel, wood chips or rubber is
under the equipment.
glass, crumbled cans, garbage or
way to use equipment, such as
going down a slide feet first,
waiting their turn and walking or
standing well away from swings.
Also, they need to understand that
pushing, shoving or crowding at
the playground can hurt someone.