It’s hard to get around the fact that parents are worried about the way kids play these days. In fact, 80% want their kids to play actively outdoors more often. “When I was a kid, my parents sent me outside after breakfast and had to yell to get me back inside at dusk,” I hear my peers tell me. Whether this recollection is exaggerated or not, the fact remains that today’s kids spend an average of 6.5 hrs./day with media– most of it parked in front of a TV or video game console. The yelling that kids are more likely to hear is not to come inside, but rather to get out and play.
Turns out, it’s not just parents that are concerned about this. Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign has named increasing physical play as one of 5 critical initiatives for eliminating childhood obesity in a generation. Teachers are concerned after scientific research showed that lack of physical activity has a negative impact on a child’s ability to learn. Economists worry that the impact of childhood inactivity will lead to a crisis in health-care for the nation. Even a panel of 100 retired senior military leaders are concerned that there won’t be enough physically fit 18 year olds to fight in the next war.
As a father of 3 kids, I’m very interested in the issue of getting kids to play actively outdoors. I’m constantly in search of new ideas that will get my kids to choose to play in ways that involve moving their bodies.
This blog is about my quest to do just that. Please join me and let me know what you think in the comments field.