Keep it active any time of year

By moving more and sitting less your child also learns to live in a healthful way.

Your child is designed to move! Most kids like to climb, crawl, run, jump, swing, tumble, twist, stretch and peddle. In fact, active play is the “work” of childhood. According to Michigan State University Extension, by moving more and sitting less, your child also learns to live in a healthful way.

Active play promotes:

  • Cooperation and sharing as your child plays and learns to get along with others.
  • Curiosity and creativity exploring his or her world. 
  • Confidence and independence while learning to make choices and control his or her actions.
  • Learning through play your child’s body and brain develop a better ability to learn.
  • Stress relief and good sleep as your child uses up extra energy and learns a healthful way to get rid of stress.
  • Healthy weight since moving more and sitting less helps lower the chances of overweight.
  • Lifelong health. Keeping your child active now helps protect your child from getting diabetes at a young age. Moving more helps lower the chances of diabetes and heart disease later in your child’s life.

Active play can develop body skills:

  • Strength, flexibility and endurance to explore and experience the world safely.
  • Coordination of small and large muscles which helps with overall learning.
  • Body awareness as your child learns what his or her changing body can do.

Active play is fun for your child and you. When you move more, your child will, too. Here are some tips by MSU Extension for safely keeping your child active:

  • Set aside a play area inside.
  • Find a safe spot where your child can tumble, roll, jump and toss things --without breaking something or getting hurt. 
  • Have a place outdoors to run and kick a ball, or climb and play in the snow.
  • Turn active play into family time; maybe after a meal.
  • Ask babysitters to play actively with your child by tossing a ball, taking a walk, playing tag or catch.
  • Gather “active” toys such as a ball or tricycle encourages active play.
  • Join (or form) a playgroup where young children and grownups play together 
  • Pick restaurants with a play area and allow time for play.
  • Make active play a day-care priority. Find day care that offers safe, active play that matches your child’s abilities.

For more information on active play with your child go to MSU Extension.

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