Playground games to keep your children healthy
Do you ever yearn for the days when keeping fit didn’t seem so much of a chore? When skipping and playing tag in the playground were all you needed to stay healthy and trim?
According to some experts many of today’s schoolchildren are missing out on the chance to enjoy such fun games – and all the health benefits they brought with them.
Increasing pressure on children’s time, safety concerns and the advent of computer and video games are all contributing to the downturn in interest in these pastimes.
But medics are concerned about their demise. New research shows that at the age of 11, up to one in three children is overweight or obese in Britain – and lack of exercise is thought to be the biggest contributory factor.
‘Playground games help children to keep fit without realising it,’ says a spokesman from Sport England, the body responsible for encouraging sport across the country. ‘They also encourage children to think of sport as fun which is a very positive thing and can give them a more positive outlook on playing sport in the future.’
‘Parents are increasingly concerned about letting their children play outside at home because of safety fears so playing in the playground where they are supervised is the ideal chance for them to get some exercise.’
Concern that these games are dying out is now so great that many schools around the country are taking part in schemes aimed at bringing them back into vogue.
Around 1,000 primary schools in the south of England are enlisting skipping coaches to show pupils the ropes of this traditional playground game. And in Scotland a new scheme is drafting in pensionersto teach youngsters how to play everything from hopscotch to red rover in an attempt to get them more active in the school break.Research already shows that exercise improves children’s mental alertness and academic performance. Educational psychologists also claim the games can also improve social skills, boost confidence and self-esteem and prevent bullying.
You may think your children could also benefit from these games. But if they asked you to teach them, could you remember how to play them?!
This article originally featured in the Daily Mail.