So while much of what is written in this blog discusses the science of what is beneficial, and recommendations for children and so forth, I thought something that might be of some value to my few readers is an interpersonal account of what I found were my best experiences of playtime. As an active person, engaged in a number of organised sports as well as someone who still enjoys their fare share of spontaneous play time, I feel somewhat able to give a reliable opinion on these matters.
Firstly, in terms of organised sports; their are two standouts. The first of these is ‘Auskick’. This is a program which has ran for a number of years, introducing primary school children to not only Australian Rules Football, but most importantly children’s first experiences with teamwork and a little competition. The program regularly visits schools and was my absolute favourite organised sport all throughout primary school. Visit http://www.aflauskick.com.au for more information.
The second recommendation is one which has improved insurmountably over the past few years, and that is organised soccer (football). The introduction of small-sided-games, meaning less players per team, creates an environment of participation, fun and most importantly close friendship building amongst kids. As a coach of children of this game myself, I can give a first hand account for its benefits. See the various associations’ websites for more info on how to sign your child up to play.
For the non organised, playground style fun; some of the most fun playtime I had involved the moments where my parents let me and my friends come up with our own fun. It’s perfect to use the tips I, and other blogs give to nudge your kid in the right direction, however the best playtime fun comes from the imagination. Games like tip, hide and seek, complex and nonsensical ball games that we made up, and so forth. So remember, the blend between playtime and organised fun is key, a healthy balance of both will lead to an active, healthy and happy kid for years to come. – J