Active play on the rise in U.A.E

"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” -Friedrich Froebel

My 3 year old is tickled pink when i play 'one little piggy' with his ten little fingers. My 4 year old is pleased as punch when he indulges in pretend play as a superhero, he conquers bad guys and exerts his control on the world vicariously. As for my 7 year old kicking ball with his dad is special, it seems the ball is an out of the ordinary object.

Is play just entertainment or is there more to it?

Play makes a child whole. Research indicates play enables a child to imagine, create, explore and is an excellent tool in early learning and future success.

The Global Play Index analysis the extend of time children between age 2-12 years yield in play as well as their playing patterns. Fun City Play Index proposes to indicate if children in the selected regions have a favorable balance between play and alternate activities. The Index aspires to bring about increased awareness and promotes a healthy balance of active play as well as passive play for children.  In 2015, the Global children's play Index included Australia, UK, Singapore and Sweden to gauge GCC's position when compared to other developed countries. Based on the online survey and questionnaire conducted by YouGov market researchers, globally UAE ranks third in 9-12 age group and fourth in the 2-5 and 6-8 age group and is also the leading country in the region that promotes play routines among children.

From left : Scott Booth- Research Director and Head of Travel, Tourism & Leisure YouGov ME, Aamnah Husain- Qualified Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Sneha Cherian- Founder, Cocoon to Butterfly Parenting Blog and Community, Silvio Liedtke -Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Group Leisure.

I have 3 important questions for parents to ponder on?

  • Do you actively participate with your child in play?
  • How often does your child play?
  • what is your child's favorite game or play activity?