Obesity.org reports that 30.3 percent of children aged 6-11 are overweight. ParentsTV.org states that the average child spends 4 hours every day watching TV. The CDC asserts that as children grow older, physical activity drops off rapidly, and that by High School, only 36% of youths participate in physical activities for 60 minutes or more each day.
These factors should be intimidating. Not only does the prevalence of TV and the decline in physical activity result in unhealthy children, but it also signals a shift in social behaviors: today’s youth are becoming increasingly less active in their physical and emotional engagement with the world, resulting in a generation that is in danger of growing up to be less creative and productive than the last.
These are the trends that face our children, and hopefully we will all take the necessary steps to overcome this temptation that they will face: the temptation to sit back and disconnect from the world. What does it take to achieve this success? We must convince our children to engage in real play on a regular basis. We must convince our children to unplug. (And simply using batteries doesn’t count!)
- Encourage imagination – Encourage them to use their own imaginations. Younger children enjoy role-playing, doing crafts, or playing with action figures, and older children will benefit from reading, art, and music.
- Provide social opportunities – Playing video games all day isn’t the answer. Instead, encourage them to go outside and play with friends. Sandboxes, clubhouses, and sporting equipment are all great tools for teaching your child how to get along with others. They’ll learn valuable skills such as how to manage conflict, how to play by rules, and how to behave in public settings.
- Keep them active – Active children are healthy children. Whether they’re climbing, crawling, sliding, running or swinging, your children will be keeping their heart, lungs, and body chemistry in better shape if they’re active. There are many options for keeping your children active, including some that fit well in a basement or playroom.
Step2 believes in healthy children, and this is evident in what we manufacture. We design our products to be exciting and appealing to children, and also conducive to imaginative play and social interactions. Our playhouses, climbers, and outdoor toys are sturdy enough to support even the most energetic of children, and provide plenty of opportunities to actively imagine and interact with friends and neighbors.
We also encourage healthy imaginations with items such as our varying art desks, building blocks, and the Real Projects Workshop. Designed to be fun with one child or three, these toys stimulate creativity and independent thought.
Finally, Step2 has also defined itself with the LifeStyle line of kitchens and children’s furniture. These realistic role-playing toys are designed to draw children into an imaginatively rich environment where play time almost becomes reality. With accessory sets designed for multi-child play and durable construction for maximum use, we build these products to last for years of social growth, physical health, and emotional excitement.
Here’s to your children–healthy, active and happy!