Lack of outdoor play said to hurt children’s development

ImageTeachers, parents and health officials in southern Ontario say kids today simply don’t know how to play outside.

 physical education consultant for the Greater Essex County District School Board. “When I was growing up and when I was raising my own children it was ‘go outside and play. Here are your boundaries … and don’t come in until I call you or the street lights come on.’

 “So, the kids developed imagination, played with kids in the neighbourhood and developed problem solving skills. They did that on their own and it wasn’t taught.”

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 Sheshlia said modern neighbourhoods don’t encourage outdoor play.

 “Physical activity is very important for the healthy development of your child during the first six years of life. It is even more important in the first three years of life when brain development is accelerated,” the ministry says on its website. “As children get older, physical activity plays a key role in their ability to learn and it improves cognitive function, concentration, self-esteem, social skills and mood.”

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