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Active for Life

APRIL 2019

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Kids love unstructured play simply because it’s fun. It’s spontaneous and open-ended, with no set learning objectives. Little do they know that it’s also critically important for the development of their bodies and brains. Celebrate spring with outdoor adventures and more free play time.

Top stories

A prescription for play: Making play time a medical necessity

Play time isn’t solely frivolous: when children play, they develop their social and emotional skills, and the executive function to do well at school. As the saying goes: “Play is the work of the child.” This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors prescribe play time for young kids.

49 fun physical activities to do with children ages two to four

If you have a little one under five at home, then you’ve experienced what it’s like to try to keep up with an energetic toddler or preschooler. This list of 49 fun activities is the ultimate go-to for any play date, home child care setting, or afternoon with a caregiver. Whatever the situation, kids’ short attention spans mean that it’s a good idea to have a few of these activities up your sleeve. 

Groundbreaking study shows effects of screen time on kids’ brains

Early data from a large U.S. study show that the use of smartphones and tablets has an effect on the cortex in children’s brains. It reinforces that managing screen time is important. To read more about the research, and for tips on monitoring kids’ use of these devices, click here.

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Link of the month

The benefits of unstructured play

This series of infographics shows the benefits of unstructured play, from promoting positive feelings to building resilience.The diagrams, produced by the Canadian Public Health Association, also include fun facts about unstructured play. For instance, did you know there’s a reported association between unstructured play at recess and improved cognitive skills, including attention and memory?
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