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ActiveVoice - Ball, hoop or grass? Can you unplug?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Parents, put down your devices, unplug and head outside with a ball, hoop or onto the grass. The child that misses a ball thrown to them often doesn’t want to participate in sport and as a mother of a three-year-old, I know how important movement experiences are.

I do hear you... TV is easier right? Just put on the Frozen movie, they aren’t moving – so much easier to manage! However, it is important that we as parents are aware of the importance of mastering fundamental movement skills and for our children to develop proficiency in these skills to be able to participate in lifelong sport and physical activity. When was the last time you threw a ball with your child, ran with them or spun a hula hoop?

I believe that fundamental movement learning opportunities should be an integral part of a parent’s day with their child. A short ten minutes can be used to transition from one activity or space to another. Try using a balloon to hit with your child or to throw and catch. How about a quick running race jumping over puddles or seeing how high you can bounce a ball together? Make it fun! We need to be role models in the development of these skills and play with our kids.

Fundamental movement skills are running, jumping, hopping, catching, kicking, throwing and striking, balance, rolling, climbing and so on. We know that when we observe movement in children it can be fluid and natural while others feel less confident, making physical activities more challenging.

If kids can’t run they won’t take part in sports such as soccer, athletics or rugby. If they can’t throw they won’t take part in sports such as basketball, netball or softball and if they can’t swim they won’t take part in sports such as water polo, kayaking or surfing. We need to provide opportunities to practice, ideally in a stimulating yet supportive environment so they can learn and develop these skills.

Children who have learned fundamental movement skills can play anything and more importantly will be on a pathway towards a healthy and active lifestyle. Let’s be in real time with our kids.

Can you unplug?

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