Be active, have some outdoor fun
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.