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Preschoolers need playtime as much as work time

Heather Rudow January 6, 2012

(Photo:Flickr/amrufm)

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Just as nap time has been found to be an integral part of a toddler’s day, a new study finds that playtime for preschoolers is just as important.

As CNN reports, the study found that three-quarters of children between the ages of 3 and 5 are in some form of childcare, like preschool, and most of them need to be much more physically active than they are. “Daily physical activity is essential for preschool-age children both for preventing obesity and for their development — their physical development and their cognitive development,” said study author Kristen Copeland.

The study, which consisted of 34 child-care facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, revealed that many of these places focused so much on academics that physical activity fell by the wayside.

“We were somewhat surprised to find this in this young age group,” Copeland said. “But teachers told us that parents — both upper-income and lower-income parents — seemed to be more concerned about what their children were learning than about whether they went outside and mastered fundamental gross motor skills.”

However, experts are contending that playtime is just as important for cognitive development as work time.

Read the rest of the CNN article here

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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