Two girls (8-10) hanging upside down in tree, smiling, portraitChildren’s play has moved from outside to inside in just a single generation, mainly due to parent’s anxiety about perceived risks of playing outside, known as ‘cotton wool parenting’. What are the consequences of this?

In the UK, most kids spend less than 3 hours a week playing outdoors and one third of kids have never climbed a tree!!  Back in the ‘good old days’, kids spent half the weekend hanging from a tree and the other half riding their bike.

We know now that outdoor play teaches kids to overcome challenges, manage risk, develop social skills and grow up strong, confident and independent.  So with kids AND parents choosing screen time over outdoor play it’s crucial that kids are encouraged to get out of the house and be more active.Ruth riding down the hill

So what’s this got to do with Physie?  We have noticed a trend in decreased upper body strength in girls compared to a time when outdoor play was more popular than screen time.  Accordingly we have incorporated more upper body strength moves into our curriculum to counter this.

But the best way for girls to increase their upper body strength is to PLAY.  So if your daughter isn’t too sure about climbing a tree, here’s 10 other ways to make it happen…

1.     Swing on a rope swing
2.     Ride a bike
3.     Play on the monkey bars
4.     Do handstands on the grass
5.     Swim
6.     Hit a ball with a bat
7.     Bury your friend in the sand (head out!)
8.     Paddle a canoe
9.     Build a snowman
10.   Dig a hole and plant a tree

Here’s some of our moves designed to build strength and control in the upper body: