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ing rocks into the ocean or climbing the monkey bars at the local park, outdoor unstructured play improves physical fitness and also impacts social, emotional and cognitive development. 2. Make household tasks fun. Even young children can help around the house. This allows them to move their bodies in many different ways—and may even help you out with chores! Children can help to water the plants, pull weeds in the garden, play “Pick Up 5,” a game in which everyone picks up and puts away five toys to a set time. Play “Find the Biggest Dust Bunny” or take a walk outside to take out the garbage. These are just a few examples of chores that help young children develop muscle strength, hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

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Resources:

• For children’s activities, indoors and outdoors, visit the Active for Life website at activeforlife.com/activities. • For a comprehensive list of physical activity benefits and age-group specific guidelines, visit the ParticipACTION website at participaction.com/en-ca. 3. Plan family activities. Children don’t miss a thing. They watch very closely and will follow the actions of those around them. I encourage you as parents to demonstrate fun physical literacy and to take on activities and games as a family. If you have the opportunity to head outdoors, try after dinner walks, play catch in the backyard or hold a family relay that includes moves like the bear walk, crab walk, three-legged race. If you’re staying indoors, play some music and have a family dance party or follow a yoga tutorial for families on YouTube. Physical, emotional, social and cognitive development come at different times for all children. Physical activity benefits the whole child and provides valuable skills for a lifetime. Regular encouragement will help them do their best and reach their full potential. Children model the behaviour of the adults in their lives—so parents, you lead the way! Erin Davidson is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health & Social Policy. She wrote this article while on practicum with Island Health’s Healthy Schools Program. C HI LD YO UT H & FAMI LY

Join us and experience the new Family Zone at Westhills Stadium Aug 24 - Saturday 3:00 pm vs. Valour FC

Sep 14 - Saturday 12:00 pm vs. FC Edmonton

Sep 4 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. Forge FC

Oct 2 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. HFX Wanderers

Sep 11 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. York9 FC

Oct 19 - Saturday 3:30 pm vs. Valour FC

*grand opening

Get tickets at PacificFC.ca #ForTheIsle

PU BLI C HEALT H

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August 2019  47

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