Most children do not get enough physical activity these days. With schools eliminating their physical education programs and kids spending more time watching TV and playing video games, it is no wonder childhood obesity at an all-time high (and still climbing). You have to encourage them and help them get physical activities.
Parents are very much encouraged to be involved in their children’s activities, especially during play. By playing with them, you get to strengthen your relationship with them, participate in activities that they like, and encourage impromptu learning opportunities.
Even time at the playground can offer many opportunities for you to bond with your child. Playing at the playground and chasing playmates may sound meaningless. On the contrary, there is actually a lot of learning taking place.
In order to move around structures successfully, children need to develop their motor skills and spatial awareness to have strong muscles and learn to be mindful of their bodies in that space. They also practice social skills such as communication and turn-taking when playing with their friends. Parental involvement can further enhance the quality of your child’s learning at the playground.
Mrs. Wong*, a parent of three children, said that she usually uses her phone to check her emails while her children are playing at the playground. Mr. Tan*, a member of the pioneer generation, also noticed that parents are very focused on their phones at the playground and do not engage with their children.
You may think that there is a certain limit to what you can do with your children at the playground but here are four ideas that you can take with you when you head to the playground with your kids!
1. Documenting Your Children at Play
Observe your children’s play and take pictures and videos of your children as they are playing. These pictures and videos give you an opportunity to look back at those memories fondly.
Share these pictures and videos with your children and show them what they did at the playground. You can also use it to talk with them about their play experiences.
2. Reflecting with Children about their Play Experiences
Mrs. Wong* also shared that play can be about engaging children in conversations. As a parent, she listens to her children when they are talking about their play experiences. Mrs. Devi*, an early childhood educator, highlighted that parents should give sufficient time for children to