To celebrate the publication of Proceedings of the Learning Connection Summit: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Student Achievement, I’m offering a short daily post during February on the ABCs of the health and academics.
P is for PLAY
I could hardly wait to get to P is for PLAY. I love the powerful simplicity of this graphic from Plan Australia, whose tagline is Every Child Has the Right to PLAY! As this clearly shows, having active fun is much more than mere child’s PLAY. Experts in child health, education, development and many other fields agree – PLAY is good for the body, mind and soul. The American Academy of Pediatrics – the MDs who care for children – actually have an official position on the topic: The Importance of PLAY in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds.
Turns out that young bodies, mind and souls can benefit from different kinds of PLAY – active PLAY, free PLAY and outdoor PLAY to name a few. I am an especially big fan of getting kids outside to run, jump, explore, discover and PLAY. The National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There website is a terrific resource for research, tips and programs to get children outside. Basically, we need to get children and adults of all ages unplugged from screens and into PLAY together – anytime, anywhere we can.