Take the Pledge to #UnplugAndPlay With ParticipACTIONSaturday, March 29, 2014
"Mom, I'm bored! Can I watch some TV?"
As if I haven't heard that before.
It seems that when the weather doesn't want to cooperate, my kids want to default to staying indoors and watching their favourite shows or playing video games. Because, even though their rooms are a mess, they would much rather vegetate on the sofa and avoid chores for as long as possible. Ask them to invite a friend over to play and suddenly they are oblivious to the television screen. Kids just wanna have fun, right?
Although 92 per cent of Canadian kids say they’d rather play with friends than watch TV, Canadian children watch almost eight hours of screens (computers, smart phones, video games, TV) each day.
Did I read that correctly? Eight hours each day? That's a third of their life! As a teacher and a mother, I find it rather disturbing to learn how much time is wasted in front of the screen. We all know how active play is fundamental to every child’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. But do we all now how to encourage the entire family to unplug and play for at least 60 minutes a day?
As part of its national campaign to Bring Back Play, ParticipACTION is asking Canadian families to take the Unplug & Play pledge from March 24-30. They have provided useful resources and tools on their site to help you in your challenge such an Unplug & Play Calendar with seven days of active play ideas and a customizable Certificate of Play to reward kids for an active week. You can also download ParticipACTION’s Bring Back Play app with a collection of outdoor play ideas on the go, such as Sardines - it's like Hide and Seek in reverse!
Since we love keeping our kids active, ParticipACTION offered to help our family Unplug & Play by sending us to Sky Zone Toronto for some old-fashioned fun and fitness. We kicked off the week by leaving our screens at home and literally bouncing off the walls for an hour straight!
So tell me, how do you encourage the family to unplug and play for at least an hour each day?