20 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 FAMILY HEALTH ASK THE EXPERT QMY husband and 18-month-old son play a lot of rough and tumble games. Is this good for my child or will it teach him to be aggressive? APAUL RAMCHANDANI, (right) Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge, I, recently studied fathers’ play with young children. He says: “Most children love rough and tumble, it gets them excited and they love trying things out with someone they trust. “In the first few years of life, children are developing strength and co-ordination and learning a lot about what’s allowed and what isn’t – rough and tumble play is somewhere they can test out and learn about those boundaries. “Some colleagues and I recently completed a review of research on fathers’ play with young children, which highlighted a couple of key findings. First, on average, fathers tend to play more physically with their children than mothers. “There is a lot of overlap and fathers do all kinds of play, but it includes more physical play, like tickling, rolling around and, with older toddlers, chasing games. “The second is that the studies showed children who played more with their fathers tended to do better later on in terms of their development. So it seems rough and tumble play doesn’t make children more aggressive – if done well, it can actually help them learn the boundaries and exert their strength and manage their emotions in a controlled way. Grandma loved to climb tress when she was young and so did mum... now it’s your turn B Don’t let social distancing stop you from exercising as a family. has some great activities that you can still do EING active is important for both our health and wellbeing, no matter what our age. It helps children grow up to be strong and healthy, ensures adults keep their blood pressure and cholesterol levels low, and helps older adults remain strong and sturdy – not to mention the huge mental health benefits for all. With this in mind, finding activities that the whole family can take part in is a great way to ensure all your loved ones are moving as much as they should, as well as having fun as a family together. Of course, lockdown restrictions have had a huge effect on how we see our families and what we can do, with many grandparents still banned from being within two metres of their grandchildren. That’s why I’ve come up few ideas for activities for ALL where you can maintain the social distancing rules that apply to you! RUTH LYNCH the family – socially distanced of course. If you have small children, bring their scooters so they can keep up, and try to pick a location where there’s a café or bench, so less mobile adults can sit if they need a break. It’s often difficult to get everyone on board with a ‘walking activity’ so it’s a good idea to come up with a good incentive for those who might be a little less keen. A treasure hunt is great because it challenges everyone mentally as well as physically. You can find lots of treasure hunts online, or you can sign up for an augmented reality game such a Pokémon Go, which challenges participants to ‘catch’ characters as they walk around. If older adults aren’t keen, one idea could be to encourage them to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy a walk around a village or place they used to live or spend time. This is a great way to get the older adults to set the pace of the activity. Not only will the nostalgia encourage them to get their brains working harder, but they will also have an impetus to move more. Seeing their grandchildren play cricket in the same sports field or swing from the same trees they did in their childhood will be sure to get everyone’s hearts pumping and release those endorphins. Finding an activity that will engage the whole family is a great way to spend time together, stay fit and healthy and keep your brains active! So don’t be put off by limitations of individuals within the group – there is always a great alternative to ensure everyone can join in the fun. A family walk or a game of football in the garden won’t seem like exercise at all depending on their ability, with younger participants encouraged to star jump or skip, and those with mobility issues challenged to throw bean bags through a hoop or stand on one leg. When setting out the course, keep in mind that kids benefit from strengthening exercises, which will help them build strong bones and muscles. Including a weight bearing challenge such as monkey bars, performing a hand stand or lifting a heavy box onto a low wall are all great ways of getting their muscles working hard. Remember, as long as your breathing gets a little heavier and you feel warmer, it will be doing you good. What may get aunty Jean out of breath could be a walk in the park for your teenage son, so adjust the activities to your audience. ROUNDERS A bit of rough and tumble helps kids learn some boundaries KIDS should be doing around 60 minutes of activity a day while adults should do around 30 minutes – this goes for older adults too. So, games and activities which allow different levels of movement for everyone is a great way to ensure everyone is getting what they need. With a variety of positions and the ability to slow down or speed up, rounders is a great all-round activity you can adapt to each player. Ensure older adults or those with less mobility take on the roles of bowling and hitting, while the younger members are tasked with running on behalf of the adults. As well as getting everyone pumping with adrenaline, it’s great to develop the kids’ hand/eye co-ordination and also enable older adults to use muscles which might otherwise get forgotten. If you have players who struggle with mobility, bring along a stool they can rest on, or slow the game to a walk when it’s their turn. With social restrictions in place, this is a great activity which makes the whole family feel they are a team, without getting in too close quarters! If you don’t have a bat and ball, you can use a balled up sock and your open palm, which is also likely to be gentler on those with ageing bones! “But it’s important that parents help children in learning this and where the boundaries are. When children get over-excited, they’ll sometimes push or hit a bit too hard and they need to learn safely and gently how to try to do it differently next time. “The other thing to remember is that rough and tumble isn’t the only kind of play – it’s great when mums or dads can do rough and tumble play with their children, but it’s also important that children get a wide range of play experiences – some exciting, some calmer, some exercising their brains and some exercising the rest of their bodies.” ASSAULT ACTION THE great thing about assault courses is that they can be built around all your abilities, and don’t just have to involve high energy activities like running up slides or swinging along monkey bars. One idea is to include challenge stations where participants have a challenge Helping with heavy loads will build strong muscles TREASURE TRAIL WALKING is a great way to get the heart pumping and fill your lungs with fresh air, and is another great way to provide something for all Ruth Lynch is Head of Health, Fitness and Communities at Life Leisure ■ PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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