With the rise of technology, parents may be tempted to do away with old playtime favourites, swapping the cricket bat for an iPad or a playground for a television screen. The world seems too dangerous a place to let children run wild and not much can go wrong if they’re sitting in front of the television, right? While training children from an early age to become comfortable with technological advances is important, letting children into the outside world to play like the good old days is necessary for their development and therefore successful transition into adulthood.
The youngest years of a child’s life pave the way for how they’ll develop in their adult life – both mentally and physically. Playing outside develops essential motor skills restricted by activities involving sitting in front of a screen. Involving children in active hobbies and pastimes is crucial for their physical development, and lowers the risk of series health problems in the future. There are plenty of fun activities to choose from such as skateboarding or rollerblading, with companies such as Penny Skateboards allowing full customization to ensure the safest, most secure board on the market. If children don’t use their muscles, they’re at risk of them not developing to their fullest potential, which may cause them grief as they grow into young adults.
There Are Five Senses, Remember?
Sensory development is also something that can’t be substituted with screens. When children are outside, they smell the scents of the outside world, seeing the colours of the trees and plants, touching the earth and hearing the wind and animals. When children are using technology, generally they are restricted to looking and listening – stunting the growth of the other three senses. There’s no technological substitute for running, riding and experiencing the world physically, rather than virtually.
Finally, it’s vital socially for children to physically interact with others throw activities such as playtime. Chatting online is one thing, but communicating verbally when young is a skill that can only be honed by doing. Plus – what sounds better? Children chatting with virtual friends they’ll never meet, or them having a close circle of friends who they can play, learn and hone their verbal skills on? Conversing via technology is very different to having a conversation in person – and once the child is of an age to be considering job or university interviews, all the body language skills they have employed in their younger years come into practice. This sentiment applies to all age ranges including teens – not just young kids.
Having a healthy mix of technological and outside activities will ensure the best possible physical and mental development, and also ensure they are schooled in the life skills to take them through their later years. Get them involved in sports and social activities, and they’ll not only get the physiological and mental development their body requires to develop naturally, but possibly a great circle of friends they’ll keep for life. Finally, what’s cheaper – the local playground or a flat screen television?