Bones need steady, regular weight bearing exercise for them to grow and strengthen.
If we do not use our bones (e.g. if we lie in bed all day), they gradually lose calcium and weaken. This effect can accelerate the onset of osteoporosis. During exercise our muscles move our bones, which respond by growing and becoming stronger.
How can you engage your children in their own growth?
Growing is one topic of immediate interest to all children. It combines their primary interest in themselves with their hopes for the future. Thus, their enthusiasm and first-hand experience can be channelled into a variety of learning activities.
There are many ways to help children to appreciate the ways in which they grow. Of course, the growth/height chart is a key one. They can also record weight and measurements around the limbs. Their interest in animals and plants offer great opportunities to help them understand growth.
The following websites have fun activities for children to enjoy.
For young children:
- What are some appropriate activities for your child? Fisher-Price’s website has information for adults about the special needs of children as they develop. There are age appropriate activities. Ideas start at one month.
- Sesame Street There is a parent’s kit for physical activity and growth.
- Information for babies to toddlers. This website has a great deal of information about milestones in your child’s development, together with some ideas for appropriate play.
For lower primary:
Science games. Suitable for young readers.
Gardening with children This site has many good ideas and instructions on how to engage your children in the garden. This includes appropriate plantsand ways to maintain their interest.
Gardening in unusual places. This site has a general section and then an interesting section on growing plants in unusual containers (anything that can hold soil and has holes in the bottom). There are some great activities here for developing your child’s creative side.
Life cycles of animals and other printables – This site has downloadable colouring- in pages and cut-and-paste of life cycles of many different organisms. Free to download, but unless you join, the items have advertising for about a quarter of the page.
For upper primary, adolescents:
Australian Sports Commission has a great deal of information on sports, nutrition and careers.
Are you wondering how to help your disabled child participate in sport? The Australian Sports Commission has a special discussion of games for people with a disability: