What Is “Active Play” And Why Do Colorado Kids Need It?
There was a time in the not-so-distant past that the idea of encouraging kids to participate in Active Play would have been met with eye rolls from moms and dads everywhere. Especially Colorado. In days gone by, Active Play was simply… play. It’s what kids of all ages did whenever they weren’t confined to their classroom, kitchen table or bedroom.
But times have changed. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you – playdates and free time aren’t what they used to be. With the surge of smart phones, tablets, YouTube, On Demand movies, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and other screens, kids are much more interested in trying to break a high score than trying to break a sweat.
Here’s a closer look at Active Play and what it means for Colorado children.
WHAT IS ACTIVE PLAY?
Active play is exactly what the name implies – it’s the act of running, skipping, climbing, sliding, jumping or performing any other physical activity in the name of “play.” It’s where a kid’s need to stretch her legs – and her mind – come together in constant motion. Colorado children can engage in Active Play indoors or outdoors, during winter, spring, summer or fall. It may involve your sons and daughters playing together, with friends or even alone. As long as it involves spontaneous and occasional bursts of high energy, mission accomplished.
WHY DO COLORADO KIDS NEED ACTIVE PLAY?
It’s no secret that running and playing is good for a child’s physical development. But did you now it’s also beneficial for improving mental skills, too?
Physical accomplishments lead to a feeling of self-esteem. And vice versa. Whether it’s finally going down that steep slide that always made your son or daughter squirm, or finally mastering hopscotch, what seem to us as small wins can be huge victories for little ones.
Strengthening Social Skills
Active Play is more than just fun and games for Colorado kids. Underneath the loud screams and wild chases, key social skills are being developed – teamwork, collaboration, competition, problem solving and just learning how to have fun with friends!
Building Healthy Hearts, Muscles and Bones
And, of course, there are the physical attributes. Just like exercise is a pillar of good health for adults, kids need to get their blood flowing and muscles firing to build a healthy foundation to grow upon.
HOW CAN COLORADO KIDS GET MORE ACTIVE PLAY?
In Colorado, being outdoors is a way of life. And it’s no different for our kids. The best place to stretch those legs and run like the wind is where the wind actually blows. And you never know what new discoveries little inquisitive minds might find among the grass and trees.
No Yard? No Problem
Many Colorado families don’t have a yard big enough to get their “play on,” and more than you’d think don’t have access to one at all. This is for many reasons. For one, a huge chunk of Colorado’s population lives in the urban areas of the state. Of the roughly 5.6 million residents, 2.8 million live in Denver Metro Area. That’s half. And if you’ve driven around Denver lately, you know there are more apartments and condos shooting up than you can count.
Another factor is the weather. It’s a lot tougher to play outside when the jungle gym is covered in snow.
But don’t fret – indoor play areas are a great way to overcome whatever obstacles are keeping you and your kids cooped up inside. And, luckily, more and more are opening up around the state.
For example, Geronimo Parks’ Lava Island *LINK TO HOMEPAGE HERE* offers plenty of indoor space for Colorado kids to run wild and explore – a 15,000 square foot trampoline park and a 21,000 square foot playground for starters! Based in Aurora – where 46% of households are rented apartment – it offers the perfect escape for families in need of some Active Play… regardless of where they live or what Mother Nature has in store.