Should You Let Your Child Play With Electronic Devices?[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”15888464″]
American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades, taking a mental and physical toll on today’s kids.Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. The American Academy of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day. Yet, Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids ages 8-18 years old are devoting an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day which equals more than 53 hours per week! The negative impact of decreased time outdoors includes a doubling of the childhood obesity rate as well as declining creativity, concentration, and social skills.
Even Steve Jobs, the late Apple co-founder, worried about the effects of exposing children to technology.Steve was asked in an interview with The New York Times back in 2010 when the first-generation tablet came out, “So, your kids must love the iPad?” His reply was, “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” Steve didn’t allow his children to spend too much time with the shiny gadgets he created. Instead they spent their time playing, discussing books, history, and a variety of things. Many of the people behind the social media platforms, gadgets and games that are consuming our kid’s time and minds aren’t actually allowing their own children to waste an entire Saturday afternoon playing Minecraft on the iPad. Some of these Silicon Valley engineers and execs from Apple, eBay, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo are even going to the extreme of sending their kids to computer-free schools to limit their technology use. Their kids are discouraged from watching television or logging on at home as well. The thinking is that technology interferes with creativity and young minds learn best through movement, hands-on tasks, and human-to-human interaction.
Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance.They are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration. A recent report from the Institute of Medicine asserts that children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active. Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge says, “The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain and without play experience, those neurons aren’t changed. It is those changes in the prefrontal cortex during childhood that help wire up the brain’s executive control center, which has a critical role in regulating emotions, making plans, and solving problems. Play is what prepares a young brain for life, love, and even schoolwork.”
We were the last generation to play outside precisely because we didn’t have smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.We learned from movement, hands-on interaction, and we absorbed information through books and socialization with other humans as opposed to a Google search. If our current addictions to our electronic devices and other tech is any indication, we may be setting up our children for incomplete, handicapped lives devoid of imagination, creativity and wonder when we hook them onto technology at an early age. This doesn’t mean we should ban our child from playing with electronic devices completely since it can be a helpful tool. We just need to set guidelines on their usage and most importantly, incorporate more outdoor recreational playtime into their daily activities.
U.S. Presidents throughout the years have altered the landscape of the White House grounds to suit their children’s recreational needs.Franklin D. Roosevelt had a jungle gym for his grandchildren. John F. Kennedy had a swing set for his son, John Jr. and daughter, Caroline. Jimmy Carter designed and helped build a treehouse for his daughter, Amy. George H.W. Bush had tree-mounted swings installed for granddaughters, Jenna and Barbara. The most recent addition was a swing set for Barack Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha. The Obamas considered five manufacturers before selecting Rainbow Play Systems. The couple chose the classic “Rainbow Castle”. The structure is made from 100 percent cedar and North American Redwood. It includes four swings, including a tire swing, a slide, a fort, a climbing wall, and climbing ropes. There’s also a picnic table with brass plates etched with the names of all 44 presidents.
Rainbow Play Systems, the industry leader with the best Lifetime Warranty coverage in America, was established in 1985.They are proud to announce that 2015 is their 30 year anniversary. They offer hundreds of wooden play set options and accessories from which you can choose, so you can put together the ideal outdoor wooden swing set for your child. You can feel good knowing your swing set is built with quality craftsmanship and your child’s safety in mind while they have healthy and active fun. Make sure to use the coupon below to save up to $800 on your purchase of any new play system!
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