MONTREAL – When you were a kid, did you ever swing so high that you felt weightless or jump into water so cold it took your breath away?
Remember playing outside until the street lights came on? Well, ParticipACTION thinks it’s time to bring play back into play.
With the first day of summer just around the corner, the Canadian charity with a mission to inspire healthy living has created a bucket list for under-12-year-olds.
Concerned that only seven per cent of kids aged five to 11 are meeting the physical activity guidelines, it’s hoping to encourage families to play together outside more often.
READ MORE: Why Canada got a D- on youth exercise report
“Active, outdoor play is an essential part of every Canadian childhood,” said Elio Antunes, the ParticipACTION president and CEO.
“All kids need regular opportunities to let loose, run around, make mistakes and make their own fun . . . an active childhood includes freedom to play.”
Antunes maintains that active play offers cognitive, emotional and social development benefits and has also been shown to improve:
● motor function
● decision-making and problem-solving skills
● ability to control emotions
● social skills, such as taking turns and helping others
According to ParticipACTION, supporting and encouraging opportunities for active, unstructured play, especially outdoors, may be one of the most accessible and cost-effective solutions to increasing child and youth physical activity.
Check out its bucket list. Is there anything missing that you’d add? Let us know in the comments.
24 things every Canadian child should do before the age of 12
1. Experience total weightlessness at the top of a swing
2. Skip stones across water
3. Play leap frog
4. Hang upside down from a tree limb
5. Jump into water cold enough that it almost takes their breath away
6. Throw rocks or snowballs at a post from a distance until they get a bulls eye
7. Ride a bike with no hands
8. Paddle a canoe
9. Piggyback someone
10. Roll down a big hill
11. Try a sport that requires a helmet
12. Collect something in a forest
13. Make up a dance routine
14. Slide down something on a piece of cardboard
15. Build a fort
16. Hike somewhere for a picnic
17. Bury someone they love in the sand
18. Play outside in the rain
19. Jump in a pile of leaves
20. Make a snow angel
21. Fly a kite
22. Create an obstacle course
23. Swim in a lake or an ocean
24. Make up a game involving a ball