The Serious Side of Childhood Play

Recently, I shared the bad news that childhood obesity has trebled in children from 6-11 years of age during the past three decades. There are many reasons for this. Children today are eating much more processed and high-fat food today than they did 30 years ago. Simultaneously, they are spending an average of over 7 hours each day connected to gadgets — and, they simply aren’t engaging in active play as much today unless there is an organized activity scheduled for them to participate in. Yes, I know that this isn’t the case for all children. Thankfully, there are still kids out there every chance they can get kicking or throwing a ball, jumping rope and running around the place. But sadly, this is less common than it was only 30 years ago.

I was reading an article today and had to look at the page several times because it sounded like I was reading my own words. It is so nice to find supportive arguments for your beliefs.

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“…In the 1970s two Queensland physical education lecturers, Peter Lindsay and Denise Palmer, carried out a study published in 1981 as Playground Game Characteristics of Brisbane Primary School Children. The book, sadly out of print, should be a basic reference book in every primary school in Australia.

Lindsay and Palmer studied 5000 children, and compared traditional games with formal syllabus games, finding that on a number of measures such as cardio-vascular endurance and rhythm the traditional games were superior to the formal syllabus games.

Children can often solve their own problems, if left alone!…” 

Please take a moment to read it. Take another moment to think about it. Take another minute to share it.

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