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Sport BOP ActiveVoice: But My Kids Are Active!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Early Childhood team at Sport Bay of Plenty aims to promote the importance of physical activity to children’s growth and development.

When I talk about my role to parents, teachers or even my workmates, I often get incredulous looks and remarks along the lines of ‘strategies to get my kids moving? I need help getting my kids to stop!’

It’s interesting to note while we might think our kids are active, evidence shows a different picture. Children are not moving as much as they need to and the impact of this inactivity has far reaching consequences for children’s development.

I watched with interest recent programmes on children’s play. There are some schools in New Zealand who are ditching politically correct rules around playground safety ‘no rules schools’ allowed children to pretty much do what they want at break times and have seen amazing changes in return. From skill development, lack of bullying to improved social behaviour. While it was refreshing to watch, it was also slightly concerning that such changes are seen as new, innovative and exciting! Have we really gone so far in the other direction in over protecting our kids?

From enjoying and participating fully in sport and recreational activities all the way to the ability to read and write, meaningful movement in the early years is one of the biggest influences on children’s brain development. It also helps in enhancing children’s social, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and physiological development

Children need to be exposed to physical activity right from the start of their lives. If they grow up knowing being active is a normal expected part of everyday life, they are more likely to continue with it throughout their lives. Part of this is seeing the adults in their lives taking part in activity as well.

So if you’re thinking it’s just too hard to get out there with the kids, break down those barriers and think of practical solutions. Remember children grow up quickly. What would you like them to remember about their childhood? How would you like them to remember their time with you?

Kirsty Carling, Early Childhood Team Leader, Sport Bay of Plenty

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