Remember taking the cushions off the couch and adding them to the pile of blankets and towels on the floor so you’d have a nice soft landing spot when you vaulted over the back of the sofa like a real elite athlete? For some of us, that was decades ago, and for others, maybe more like last Friday night, but the point is that most kids need an outlet for tremendous amounts of energy, and at some point, it usually involves tumbling routines in the living room.
Never ones to discourage active play, we think this kind of creativity and movement should be encouraged! Ok, maybe not with furniture, but tumbling and gymnastics are a great way to keep kids healthy, fit, and learning to love a lifestyle of engagement. Too many children spend far too much time in sedentary activities; according to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website, children between 8 and 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in sedentary entertainment activities. This results in the three leading causes of chronic illness in the United States: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. We want the kids to grow into healthy adults – so our path seems clear. Keep them active!
One simple step toward raising active and healthy children is to raise them in an atmosphere that screams “PLAY!” And nothing does this quite like a gym. No, we’re not suggesting you spend every waking moment in a gym paying for baby weight-lifting classes, but rather outfitting your home to provide the kids what they need to be active from the get-go.
Let’s start with play mats. We Sell Mats’ ABC/123 foam mats are a fantastic way to cushion the falls those young ones take during play time. They’re easily cleaned (because juice boxes are soooooo much fun to jump on), colorful, and at 3/8″ thick, comfortable enough even for Mom or Dad to play on. Maybe the kiddos are getting into the rough-housing and you want a way to keep visits to the ER in check. You might want to look at our 3/4″ martial arts mats. And finally, when you see your 10 year-old hanging from the chandelier in a perfect iron cross pose, may we suggest our full line of gymnastics and tumbling mats (and maybe a lower deductible on your homeowner’s policy…).
Face it, the couch is going to take only so much before it succumbs, so give it a longer life, and give your kids a safe, encouraging and fun space to play with EVA foam mats and tumbling equipment. You’ll show them by your example that an active lifestyle is something you take seriously and is really important not only for their childhood, but for the rest of their lives.