Parents want their children to be happy and healthy, but also to develop good habits that will support and guide them through the rest of their life.
Up to the age of five is the most formative time in a child’s life, and if you can instil good habits during those precious first years, you really have made an investment in their future.
Two of the things you can teach your little cherubs, to equip them well for life, is that it is exciting and stimulating to “challenge themselves” in a safe way, and that physical activity should be part of everyday life.
Goal setting isn’t the same as competition
There’s a body of opinion that activities to encourage a competitive spirit in children are wrong. It’s why sports days disappeared from some schools and nurseries; there should be no winners and no losers.
This – and health and safety concerns – have combined to water down a lot of the physical activities which challenge children, even on an individual basis. If you give them sedentary activities that don’t stretch them physically, you keep them away from tasks that they may “fail”.
Challenges provide life skills
In fact, challenging physical activities create opportunities for children to learn goal setting and perseverance, life skills that no child should be without. No future career will be goal-less and allow them to give up at the first hurdle.
The trick is to ensure that the physical challenges children face are enjoyable and achievable, to build their sense of self-worth and confidence.
Sitting at the top of that slide may seem like the edge of a mountain to some toddlers, but the moment they let go and whizz down, their confidence in themselves and their understanding of how to overcome fear goes up.
Watch me Mummy!
Interactive soft play on a range of equipment provides many challenges and goal setting opportunities that can be very individual to each child; to go faster, higher, back-to-front. The next time you are there, listen out for how many times you hear “watch me!” “look at this” or “guess what I did” as they experiment with their own capabilities.
Building the fitness habit
Of course some children seem to get all their challenges from a games console, and their sense of achievement comes from reaching video game levels.
The other huge benefit from a soft play area with challenging interactive apparatus, is that it develops physical strength and agility. Making physical exercise habitual sets them up for better health and wellbeing.
Good habits at Little Giggles
You could tick all of the above boxes with regular visits to Little Giggles in Bristol, a caring and fun play facility that provides a treasure trove of physical stimulation and lots of safe challenges.