We often reach for the phone when we’re looking for a quick dinner. But are takeaways really faster and how much more do they cost? Ben’s decided to make his own version of an Indian-inspired ‘takeaway’ the whole family will enjoy.
For lots of reasons – the busyness of after-school activities, the prevalence of technology, parents micro-managing their children’s time, health and safety concerns, society’s view of what a ‘good’ parent is, the hothousing of kids and emphasis on academic learning and so on – we’ve seen a lessening of free play in the last 15-20 years.
Experts see this as a negative thing and are calling for a return to free play (loosely defined as ‘risky’, unstructured play with natural or re-purposed objects) because of its importance in emotional, physical and social development.
Evidence suggests free play develops independence, fosters resilience, teaches children about risk management (important if they’re to avoid real risk in the future), fosters creativity and builds confidence. More research is needed, but free play also seems to lead to better learning, better behaviour and greater brain development.
What’s not to love?!
Regular physical activity is essential for brain development. The more a child moves, the more they stimulate their brain. Children are born wanting to move, to explore their world and to make sense of it. And it’s up to us to make sure they have plenty of opportunity to be active.
Turn up the music and get moving!
The role of fathers has changed dramatically over the past few generations. Once focused on providing for the family but pretty hands-off when it came to day-to-day parenting, dads these days tend to be very involved in actively caring for their children – a win-win situation for everyone.
When your child takes up a new sport, it’s the beginning of new relationships for them and for you if you decide to get involved.
Much and all as you might dream of having a future sports star in the family, don’t be in too much of a hurry to sign them up for a team, say the experts.
As Kiwis, we love the water – playing or swimming in it, boating or sailing on it, or simply enjoying our stunning coastline, beaches, lakes and rivers. But sadly, every year, a large number of New Zealanders lose their lives to drowning. So how do we keep our children safe in and around water?
Riding a bike is a fundamental skill that is recognised the world over with providing children with a sense of achievement and independence. So what are you waiting for?!
While children develop the fundamental movement skills of stability (balance), locomotion (moving your body from one place to another) and manipulation (the ability to handle a piece of equipment to achieve a specific outcome) at differing rates depending on experiences, it’s important they master these skills before they’re 7 or 8.