(BPT) - After being cooped up during one of the most brutal winters in recent memory, families are eager for warmer weather so they can get outside and play. Research shows that play is an important part of children’s physical, emotional and intellectual development.
With spring upon us, now is a great time to make play and outside activity part of your family’s regular routine. Here are some ideas:
* Remember, every little bit helps
Active play is an important part of keeping families happy and healthy. In fact, childhood obesity increases 29 percent in neighborhoods without a park or playground, according to KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need. Instead of driving to your local playground or park, walk or bike, to get in an extra dose of activity. Every little bit helps in keeping your kids growing up strong – physically, emotionally and intellectually.
* Keep imagination at the forefront
Kids can do anything they put their minds to, and they can keep themselves busy for hours with just their imaginations. Bring that power to your next outdoor adventure by creating a make-believe obstacle course based on their favorite book or movie at your local play area. Get other kids involved and become the MVP of playtime.
* Pledge to be active
Staying active on a consistent basis is key to achieving a balanced lifestyle. Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active, provides a host of tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. Visit www.LetsPlay.com for a wealth of ideas to incorporate play into your day, and take the Let’s Play Pledge to devote additional playtime each week to your family’s routine.
* It’s all about balance
Playtime takes a lot of energy, so make sure your kids are armed with healthy and nutritious nibbles to replenish their growing minds and bodies. Fruits, veggies, applesauce, whole grains and snack-size cheese are great after-play snacks. Make sure kids are also staying hydrated to keep their energy levels up throughout the day.