Do you recall playing games like red rover, hopscotch, tag or marbles? Games that used to have you out playing until your mum came out calling for you because it was getting dark.
It seems like our own kids spend less and less time playing these simple active outdoor games. Studies have shown that the average child spends more than 20 hours a week playing video games alone and that doesn't even count the hours spent in front of the television!
Many parents blame modern society, particularly those in apartments with limited access to open spaces. Having their children playing out of their sight is understandably beyond their comfort zone.
Maybe us parents need to loosen the shackles on ourselves. Rather than sending our kids out to play, go toss a ball with them, play a chasing game or teach them something from our own childhood. The best way to get our kids to do what we want them to is to set a positive example.
Establish a routine of going on a family walk or visiting a park on a regular basis to play outdoor games together or even ride your bikes. So get out there and spend some quality time with your kids, the washing can wait, and you'll all feel the better for it.
Staying active is not only good for our kids (and our own) health, it is also beneficial socially for children to play games, particularly in a group situation. They can take on leadership roles, use negotiation skills and burn energy all while having fun. Best of all for parents you will have them sleeping soundly.