For children the computer and TV can be stiff competition for outdoor activities, and other intellectual games. Likewise you may find TV as a tempting babysitter when you are busy. But research has shown that watching too much TV can actually restrict imagination, creative ability and cognitive abilities of a child. Restrict your child’s TV time to two hours or less daily. It is strongly recommended that you keep computer and the TV out of your child's bedroom.
In middle childhood, years (5 to 12 years) the steady rate of physical growth slows down considerably as compared to early childhood. But the development of motor skills increases their interest to participate in a variety of physical activities. They may get interested in various physical activities and it may become the foundation for lifelong participation in physical activity.
Encourage activities that promote physical development. It is important that you limit your child’s TV time.
- Encourage your child to play in the ground, park or outdoor games.
- Joining to learn team sports can provide great physical exercise.
- Go out for family walks, running, jogging, and skipping.
- In summertime let them join for swimming classes.
- Challenge your child and his or her friend to activities such as -- who can jump rope the longest, shoot the most baskets, stand on one leg longest. Kids love to competition with friends and parents.
Besides, encouraging outdoor activities, give your child a variety of playthings. A child needs a variety of playthings as different kinds of play experiences stimulate growth of both body and brain. Children in the age group of 5-12 years if given practice and encouragement will learn any activity or skill, and will learn it best. This is the age when a child can learn maximum number of different activities. It is important to realize that every child progresses at different rates and has different interests. Your child should have toys from each of the following categories as each of them promotes different kind of development.
Toys for large motor skills: Development of large motor skills is promoted by toys that need coordination and balance and promote development of strength of arms and legs. Your 5 year old should have a two-wheeler with training wheels that is scaled to his size. Avoid battery-powered ride-on toys such as battery-powered motorbikes owing to safety concerns. Other kinds of toys which growing children love are balls (football, basketball), cricket gears, skates, scooters, jump ropes, skateboards. These toys improve hand-eye coordination (throwing and catching) and involve a lot of physical activity and running.
Toys For fine motor skills: These include toys which require hand-eye coordination and work the hand muscles like various kinds of blocks, puzzles, art and craft material (such crayons and pencils, markers, sidewalk chalk, watercolors, coloring and craft books, play clay, scissors, glue), musical instruments, dolls and dollhouses, action figures, and a train set.
Toys For language and mental skills: Give your child toys which emphasize speaking, thinking, and pre-reading skills. Your child should have age appropriate books, simple board games for beginning readers, scrabble, card-matching games all boost pre-reading skills. Games like chess are good for older children. It encourages cognitive development.
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