Play as a Family: Why it’s so important
Children play. It’s a fact. They play alone, with friends or with their parents. However they play and whoever they play with, play as an activity is vital for children’s development. It helps children of all ages physically and mentally and it helps them develop into well-balanced, happy adults according to research.
The Importance of Play
Research from the Department of Health [S1]shows that if we don’t make changes to how we eat and exercise now, then by 2050 90% of today’s children could be overweight or obese. This situation can be tackled simply by exercising more and play is one of the best ways to keep children active. Kids love to play and it’s an essential part of their development as it improves self-confidence, concentration, problems solving skills, communication and helps to develop relationships.
It is also important to play games with your kids. Children can gain so many benefits from playing fun games with their parents and parents can benefit massively too. Remember how fun it was when you were a child, playing a game of hide and seek with your parents or just a game of throw and catch. Simple things really help improve the parent – child bond.
Family Playtime is a Dying Art
In 2010 Professor Tanya Byron released a report[WU2] which stated that
“Play helps build healthy attachments and positive relationships. Families who play together will be healthier, happier, enjoy each other more, and work together more effectively.”
FunMeFit provides families with the perfect opportunity to spend time playing together. With today’s busy lifestyles it can be a struggle to find time to enjoy family life but spending time with our children can be fun and educational for us as well as for them. Lack of ideas, motivation or money can sometimes mean that families don’t have the opportunity to spend much time together having fun. At FunMeFit we think exercise should be fun and we use social media to show the whole family how they can enjoy playtime together.
Did you know that if we carry on as we are, 9 out of 10 of today’s children risk growing up with dangerous levels of fat in their bodies? This can lead to serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes in later life.
All parents want their children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults, but for some families it can be hard to know how to achieve this. Change4Life is a nationwide movement to help families to eat well, move more and live longer.
A great way to get children up and about is through play. It’s very important to give children the time and space to play using their own imaginations, and to help parents to help them do just that. Organised games can be great fun, and a good way for adults to get involved too,
That’s why we’ve just launched Play4Life, but we need your support. By talking to families about all the benefits of playing and encouraging them to let their children play as often as possible, you will be helping them to make a Change4Life.
The Play4Life toolkit is full of useful tips and information on making play an everyday part of families lives. You’ll find advice on how to support children to play indoors and outdoors as well as ways to keep them safe while they’re burning off all that energy. It also highlights the benefits of playing, like building children’s confidence and helping them develop new skills.
For ideas to help the families you work with play more, visit www.nhs.uk/change4life and click on ‘partners and supporters’ to download the Play4Life toolkit.
Play4Life offers lots of great ideas for play and fun games.
Toolkits for Families
Here we have a range of useful toolkits to help you and your family get more active and have some fun! You can download them here:
Our Top Sports/Family Games to Try:
Thanks to Change4Life –
Enjoy Play with FunMeFit
Create a Group for your family
Exercise shouldn’t be a huge expense which is why FunMeFit encourages you to take the initiative and get out and play with your kids. If you want something a bit more structured and organised to take out any stress, you can find plenty of exciting activities that are fun and different on our discussion board.
Setting up your own family group or joining in with our listed member events is a great way for the whole family to meet new people and who know, you could be joining forces and adding more exciting activities to your FunMeFit profile – maybe even a competition or two between families…? Introduce yourself on the discussion board and meet other families.
Group play can bring out our natural competitiveness and laughing and chatting with new friends cheers us up. We all have interests which motivate us and it usually involves something we find fun.
If you need anymore information on the benefits of play, please see the Play England website.