Author Topic: Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time  (Read 1108 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:18:33 AM »
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  • Half of pre-schoolers not playing outside daily
    The early childhood years are crucial for learning and development. That should involve a great deal of outdoor physical activity and playtime, but that's not always the case.

    Nearly half of 3 to 5 year olds are not taken outdoors by a parent or caregiver every day, according to research presented in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine this week.

    "There's a big room for improvement in how parents prioritize their time and what they're doing in the time they're spending with their pre-school children," said lead study author Dr. Pooja Tandon of Seattle Children's Research Institute.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children play outside as much as possible, for at least 60 minutes a day. Physical activity is not only good for weight control and preventing childhood obesity; previous research also suggests playing outside improves motor development, vision and vitamin D levels.

    "There is evidence that play - just sort of the act of playing - is important for children's development of their social skills and their peer interactions," Tandon said.  "Being outdoors affords children an opportunity to play in ways that they may not get to when they're indoors."

    In the study, researchers studied almost 9,000 pre-schoolers nationwide and asked their parents about outdoor play frequency.

    Mothers took their children out to play more often than fathers did. Working outside of the home was often a barrier for children to play outdoors, but some parents who worked from home also did not take their kids out.

    In addition, the researchers found that mothers who exercised often were more likely to take their kids outdoors, as opposed to those who did not report any exercise.

    The study authors also noted that girls had fewer opportunities for outdoor recreation than boys did.

    "As caregivers or parents of girls, [we should] rethink how we dress our girls, and what we encourage them to do as far as play so that they have the same opportunity for outdoor play as boys do," Tandon said.

    For all parents, Tandon offers a couple of suggestions.

    First, check in with your child's care provider or child care center to ensure there is adequate outdoor time. Make sure that your child is getting it; if not, advocate for it. By pre-school age, 80% of the children in the study were in child care; in the U.S., pre-schoolers spend an average of 32 hours per week in child care.

    Second, Tandon suggests coming up with new and creative ways to work around barriers, perhaps through social and community networks.

    "I think parents want to do what's best for their children and I hope that this study serves as a reminder that playing outside with your children is also an important part of what we do as parents," Tandon added. 
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    Offline Matthew

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    Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
    « Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 12:19:44 AM »
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  • The world has gone mad.

    Those who have lots of children, homeschooling them, having them play outside a lot, share a room with siblings, not enjoy "every comfort and toy known to man", etc. get on the bad side of Child Protective Services, who then attempt to break up the family and take the children away.

    And all along, it's the homeschooling, natural living, down-to-earth large families that are doing what's best for children!

    The inmates are running the asylum.
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    Offline Iuvenalis

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    Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
    « Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 01:35:13 AM »
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  • The second post is eminently quotable.

    Offline CathMomof7

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    Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
    « Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 03:18:06 PM »
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  • Modern people are crazy, period.

    My children are outside right now.  They have been out climbing trees, picking flowers, riding their bikes, digging in the dirt, chasing the first butterflies, etc. for 2 hours now.  They won't come in until I call them for dinner.

    Earlier, my oldest mowed the lawn, went for a run with the dog, and rode is bike to the store.

    Now people won't let their children go outside alone for fear of them being abducted.  They won't even let them walk to the bus stop on their own.

    There is a little day care around the corner from our house.  No matter what time of day I drive by, I never see the children out playing.  Last week when we had 70 degree weather, I saw them out one time.  They were cooped up in a little play area, 40 children and 2 women.  

    What a shame.  But I bet they can tell you every Disney character in every Disney movie ever made....

    Sad...

    Offline Elizabeth

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    Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
    « Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 12:12:39 AM »
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  • Maybe it's just that after-Lent thing, but I intensely see the world as mad, crazy, weird the past few days. Psycho everywhere.
     :tinfoil:



    Offline s2srea

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    Preschoolers not getting enough outside play time
    « Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »
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  • This was very informative. Unfortunately, we don't get our 3 year old girl out every day in the winter time. With the twins, its sometimes impossible for my wife to leave our 1 year olds and play outside and watch our eldest. But this will make us more cognisant of the need to get her out more often than not.


     

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