Be ac­tive, have some out­door fun

The Gympie Times - - SCHOOL HOLIDAYS LIFE -

IT’S school hol­i­day time and many par­ents are fac­ing the hur­dle of putting lim­its on screen time.

The rec­om­mended Aus­tralian Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Seden­tary Be­hav­iour Guide­lines for chil­dren and young peo­ple are all well and good but un­plug­ging kids from tech­nol­ogy is be­com­ing a great test and it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to pro­vide al­ter­na­tives to the so­cial me­dia and gam­ing ad­dic­tion young peo­ple are drawn to on de­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to health and well­be­ing ex­perts, chil­dren and young peo­ple should ac­cu­mu­late at least 60 min­utes of mod­er­ate to vig­or­ous in­ten­sity phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity ev­ery day.

Chil­dren (5–12 years) and young peo­ple (13–17 years) should min­imise the time spent be­ing seden­tary ev­ery day and break up long pe­ri­ods of sit­ting as much as pos­si­ble, lim­it­ing their screen time to no more than two hours per day.

Great guide­lines and good ad­vice es­pe­cially with the alarm­ing trends that show chil­dren are spend­ing less and less time play­ing out­doors and more time in­side on screens.

There is lit­tle doubt tech­nol­ogy is be­ing used ex­ces­sively to the detri­ment of chil­dren’s health.

The sug­ges­tion par­ents sim­ply put in place cur­fews and rules about screen time is only part of the an­swer. To make de­vices less at­trac­tive kids need an al­ter­na­tive.

An ini­tia­tive help­ing to de­liver many ben­e­fits to chil­dren is the Na­ture Play pro­gram that gets kids back out­side en­gag­ing in un­struc­tured play.

Sim­ple ac­tiv­i­ties like sleep­ing un­der the stars, mak­ing mud pies, build­ing a cubby from leaves or dig­ging for worms pro­vides rich sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ences for chil­dren that screen time can­not of­fer.

It’s about en­cour­ag­ing kids to get out there to ex­plore, learn and dis­cover things for them­selves in the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Check out na­ture­play.org.au

Each day we will pro­vide you with some ideas to help en­cour­age the kids to be­come in­volved in out­door ac­tiv­i­ties th­ese hol­i­days.

PHOTO: SERRNOVIK

Get out and en­joy the Gympie re­gion’s beau­ti­ful spring weather this school hol­i­days.

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