“Let’s go to the playground!” I yelled to the kids. They ran, they run, it is a constant state of motion for their bodies. Running, climbing, hiking, rolling, sliding, pulling, pushing, swinging these are the actions they love the most, the actions that should always be encouraged by parents. Our children want to explore, play, create and imagine. In order for these natural needs to be fulfilled we cannot just sit them in front of a TV, videogame or computer. Our children cannot drive to the playground, most children don’t live close enough to a park to walk and in this day and age even if they did most parents would not allow them to go on their own, and with good reason. We as parents must provide our children with the opportunity to grow and they grow while playing outside in constant motion.
Our schools provide education but many of them have taken the physical education away and replaced it with more text books and more time for our children to sit still, which goes against the grain of their being. They sit in classrooms 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week for an education that they need to succeed in our world. They also need the time to be children to be well adjusted human beings in this world. Our children love sports and extracurricular activities which are also beneficial. However, as parents we need to find time for our children to play outside, not just in organized sports practices but to explore to play on a playground, to pick up toads, roll down grassy hills and get dirty in the creek. We need to provide the time and space for our children to play, to interact with others completely on their own terms without a teacher, coach or parent directing them so they can learn to lead and be independent. There are only 24 hours in a day but there are only 12 years of childhood in a lifetime. Today let your child be a child and let them truly play the way that their little bodies need without a screen and in constant motion.