It’s an exciting time to welcome the beginning of summer and get outside and play! The warmer weather offers even more ways to be active. Outdoor play helps build healthy bodies and minds, and can be enjoyed by everyone. Children are naturally drawn to play outside. It’s a great way to connect with nature, enjoy fresh air, be active and have fun together.
Playing outdoors together helps children to:
When children play, they learn about the world, themselves and others. As your child plays, you can help them think of new ways to do things and to solve problems. Ask for their ideas and follow their lead.
Some ideas for outdoor play are:
Set clear boundaries and let children play freely and safely. To learn more about playground safety and to take the Playground Safety YES Test, visit myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/take-the-playground-safety-yes-test.aspx.
Children love to play with or near water, but they don’t understand its dangers. Stay right beside children whenever they’re in, around or near water. Never leave them alone near water (e.g. wading pool, dugout, pond or lake) even if they know how to swim. Devices such as bath seats, lifejackets and water wings aren’t a substitute for adult supervision.
Make sure your child wears protective gear and gets the right training for whatever sport or recreational activity they’re doing. It’s the law in Alberta that children under 18 years old must wear bike helmets. Make bike helmets a habit for everyone in your family. Bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury in a crash by 85 per cent. To learn more about bike safety and to take the bike helmet YES Test, visit myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/bike-and-small-wheeled-recreation-safety-for-children.aspx.
This information contains excerpts from Alberta Health Services’ Healthy Parents, Healthy Children print and online resources. For more information on topics related to pregnancy and being a parent, and for information on where you can pick up print copies of the Healthy Parents, Healthy Children resources, free of charge, go to healthyparentshealthychildren.ca.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2020 Calgary’s Child