In today’s day and age where children are either hooked up to their smartphones and tablets, connected to the internet, or binge watching the many television age, going outside and playing has become a thing of the past. Most children prefer playing sports or games virtually against their friends instead of going outside and indulging in any kind of physical activities in the real world. On the flipside, these children also have a lot to study, with the level of education and studies becoming higher and higher for the younger years, thus automatically reducing the time for playing. And even if they do play, they prefer playing on their laptops or playstations, or other similar contraptions.
In such a situation, the children are getting a lot of virtual knowledge, but are they getting any real world experience? The answer in a nutshell is no. They aren’t. Only by going out and indulging in physical activities, games, or sports in the real world with others can children develop a sense of team-spirit, camaraderie, bonding, and get that competitive edge to perform better and better. It will also help them stay fit and in top condition. The importance of good health cannot be overstated, especially in this era where children are prone to indulging in over-eating fast food and the like, and where things like obesity are a real health hazard. Another benefit of playing outside is that playing under the sun will also provide them with some much needed Vitamin A.
Virtual games and sports can never replace the thrill and exhilaration of playing in a real game. The thrill of scoring a last moment goal in football, the excitement of a well-taken catch in cricket, the overwhelming emotions of a heart-breaking defeat, or the euphoria of snatching success in an impossible situation, bit by bit all of them come together and build the children’s personality, enriching them, making them into well-rounded people. It also aids in developing creativity and aids them in learning the much needed social skills, which are quite important for functioning in society. Beyond that, the friendships and bonds formed on a sporting field are unlike any other, having faced the enemy (that is the opposite teams) together, having won together and lost together. Sports develop a keen sense of leadership and strategy in children, making them think of new and innovative ways of dealing with variegated situations. It makes them thinkers and doers at the same time as they plan and execute a strategy in the game.
For all of the developments in online and virtual gaming such as virtual-reality and team-plays, it is still not a true substitute for actually going out and playing on the field in the real world. The need to be ever alert, to be ever-ready to react to a play at the drop of a hat, to be willing to put your body on the line for victory or take one for the team, these are some of the many things which can only be learnt on the field of play. Qualities which will make children into better adults. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start playing!
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