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The Fun Theory

Posted by Silken Laumann on September 6, 2011

When was the last time you found yourself laughing out loud?  When you just had fun?  When you did something just because it made you smile?   Volkswagen converted an ordinary staircase into a piano. Each time someone stopped on a step (key) it played a note.  Beside the stairs was an escalator.  66% more people took the stairs because it was fun to take the piano stairway.  Some went up and down, skipped stairs, jumped repeatedly on stairs, all to get a different sound of notes. 

I remember having to wait at the airport for an hour with my kids, 6 and 8 at the time, while my dad’s plane was delayed.  My kids entertained themselves by running repeatedly up the down escalator. I did this as a kid and had so much fun.  Now you’re actually not allowed to do this –  if airport security ‘catch’ you they’ll ask you to stop. If we really didn’t do anything we weren’t supposed to do, I can’t imagine that life would be any fun.  For instance I’ve seen signs in school playgrounds that say NO RUNNING.  I have a huge urge to take a marker and cross out the NO.  Let them run for goodness sake. We want our kids to run, climb, jump, be loud, boisterous and playful.  The last thing we want is our kids moving slowly or even worse, not moving at all. 

Recently we learned that only 7% of Canadian children are getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day.  Given the fitness levels of our kids today, they need at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity to experience health benefits.  The best way of meeting and exceeding this number is to find as many ways as possible to have fun with movement.  Dodge ball, freeze tag, chasing the dog around the house, having the dog chase you (a friendly chase of course).  Swimming together, hopping on one leg, jumping over the cracks on a sidewalk, walking to school once a week, one family hike a week, cranking up the music and dancing like a madman, anything and everything that makes you smile, makes you feel a little silly and helps you feel the sheer joy of moving.

 

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About the Author

Silken Laumann
Enjoy Silken's monthly blog as she shares her thoughts, ideas and challenges regarding children and play. Inspire you to provide a healthier environment for our kids, and help guide our society away from the looming childhood obesity challenges manifesting itself in our youth.

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