Growing up is hard. Not just for the kids but for their caregivers as well. There is so much to worry about while a child is growing up. Right Play is one of them. Did you know that it is essential for the overall development of a child? It not only contributes to a child’s cognitive, physical and social development but also emotional well-being. It also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage and bond with their child. But today with rising inclination towards the digital platforms, free play has been noticeably reduced in most of the children. There are various factors that have reduced the playtime for kids and added to the ‘screen time’. These include a busy lifestyle, changes in our family structure and probably our increased attention to early learning and academics. While we can’t just wipe-out a screen from our life today, we can instead focus on the importance of right play in a child’s development.
Right Play- Right Growth
How Right play leads to the right growth in child
Being both mentally and physically active helps a child feel better in a lot more ways than we may think. It is generally observed that children who are physically active have better appetite and metabolism. They may also tend to perform better in school than kids who aren’t. Further adding all the food groups in his plate will ensure the child gets proper nutrients and has proper growth to stay healthy & disease-free.
#GrowRight tips – A comprehensive set of guidelines for Right Growth
I recently got this opportunity to attend the launch of a new initiative #Grow Right by Abbott. The initiative is meant to support parents and help children grow to their full potential. The guild behind these tips comprises experts in paediatrician- Dr Samir Dalwai, nutritionist- Dr Dharini Krishnan and child specialist Dr Mukesh Sanklecha. All these experts including celebrity mom Lara Dutta Bhupathi were present during the launch. Together they addressed various parental concerns around toddler growth.
The expert doctors also shared how their research and frequently asked queries lead to the thoughts behind making these set of guidelines.
The #GrowRight tips define ‘Right Growth’ as a combination of physical, cognitive and mental progress that should be observed carefully and holistically during the foundational years of childhood. The main points discussed were how right nutrition, the right play, right nurture and right impact are the keys behind a child’s growth and development.
Right play- Key to Right Growth
During the discussion, it was highlighted that Right play is the growing concern among parents today. With unchecked screen time and inadequate playtime, one needs to find appropriate ways to creatively engage with toddlers. It is important we understand the importance of right play in child development.
Dr. Dharini Krishnan very aptly said “During early childhood, the brain develops rapidly and is particularly sensitive to the external environment. It is alarming to see most Indian children not meeting the recommended level of physical activity. Through these tips, our aim is to help parents find an effective and creative way to engage with their toddlers.”
- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This adage has never been truer!
Every child needs specific stimuli, from the outside environment. This helps in the appropriate development of his brain’s neural networks. Outdoor play is also critical in helping toddlers absorb Vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in bone growth as well as improving the child’s immune system.
As per experts, it is suggested that a child gets at least 3 hours of play every day. Of which, at least an hour should be moderate to high-intensity physical activity.
- Say ‘No’ to plug and ‘Yes’ to play
There are several studies which connect delayed development in kids with extended exposure to screens. During early childhood, a child’s brain develops rapidly and is particularly sensitive to the external environment. Parents can engage their toddlers in some creative free play and power-off screens.
The experts say that once a child is over 2 years of age limit their screen time, up to one-hour maximum. This should be done regularly to help a child understand the boundaries between the real world and the virtual world.
Let’s recognise the fact that as a parent we need to give importance to the right play in child development. We also must strive to create a balance in our children’s lives to create an optimal environment to help them #GrowRight.