Pick Video Games that Require Motion - Post 2/5 of the "Get Your Kids Moving" Series
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Last week we discussed the first recommendation, "Playing Hide and Seek with Toys." Did you get a chance to try it out? It is great when you share what you have done with on social media with OT 4 ME!
Today, we're going to discuss using "screen time" to our advantage. Recently, screen time has gotten a lot of negative attention, as many kids are choosing to spend hours in front of the TV, video games, and on social media instead of playing. We’ll talk more next week about the effect this can have on the body. For example, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2014), increased screen time is related to increased caloric intake and increased sedentary (not moving) time.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (2014) also reports that there can be some benefits with screen time. For example, it can expose us to new ideas, allow us to connect with people, and can even promote health behaviors. Further, video games have even been shown to facilitate learning (Calderaro Munguba et al., 2008). It is really depends how you choose to use screen time.
That brings us to our second recommendation: Picking video games that require motion.
This tip can be especially helpful with kids who don't like to play outside or who are nervous to play sports. It allows them to be active in the comfort of their own home and without an audience.
Occupational therapists even use some of these games inside our outpatient clinics. This is because many of these games also encourage skills such as bilateral coordination and motor planning. We’ve played them with friends, and sometimes have even worked up a sweat!
This tip can also be useful for parents who are having a hard time connecting with their child during social distancing. It is sometimes helpful to first start with an activity that your child truly enjoys, and then expand from there.
Here's a couple options you can look into:
1. Nintendo Switch
3. XBox Connect
Of course, purchasing an entire new gaming system can be costly. If you don't already have one of these in your home, there are other options.
1. Find YouTube channels that you approve of that include movement. For example, kids yoga.
2. Add an activity to standard video games. For example, doing animal walks each time the game restarts, or making "snow angels" on the floor.
Next week we'll talk about the third tip: Not Fast-forwarding Through Commercials.
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Thanks for reading,
Calderaro Munguba, M., Moreno Valdés M. T., & Bruno Da Silva, C. A. (2008). The application of an occupational therapy nutrition education programme for children who are obese. Occupational Therapy International, 15(1), 56-70. DOI: 10.1002/oti.244
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