YMCA of Greater Erie

In today’s goal-oriented society, the notion of play can seem a frivolous pursuit for those past primary school age.  Physical activity is often perceived as athletics, exercise, or “working out”.  Bu, experts agree, play can and should be embraced by family members of all ages.

Overscheduled, stressed, etc. families can become so programmed to think in terms of achievements like earning more money, making a select soccer or swim team, getting good grades.  Instead of embracing ply as a vital part of family life, it is sometimes viewed as a non-productive “waste” of time.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.

Families can develop stronger bonds when they share common experiences.  Physical activity is a positive experience that families can share as they improve their overall health.  Kids and parents who play in a physically active way are healthier and happier.  Studies suggest playing, just for the sake of movement and enjoyment and interaction, boots self-esteem, builds healthy relationships and contributes to physical health and well-being.

First, grown-ups must embrace the health and well-being benefits of play, which include increased energy levels, improved sleep patterns; better concentration at work or school; family connectedness; improved self-esteem, and stronger, healthier bodies.

Play is like fruits and vegetables, an everyday necessity, not a candy or ice cream treat for every once in a while.  Families who recognize the power of play will improve in all of those other areas of achievement.

How can busy families put more play in their days?

  • Spend at least 20 minutes doing something physically active as a family, ideally outdoors. YMCA Camp Sherwin has over 70 acres of grounds to play fetch with the dog, a game of tag before dinner, play in the leaves or take a walk in the woods or down to the beach.
  • Schedule family recess time by putting play on the weekly schedule, just like soccer games and piano practice. Block out time for a trip to YMCA Camp Sherwin for outdoor fishing, swimming or favorite playground games.
  • Create a play jar allowing each family member to put in desired fun activities for weekends or other days off. Spend days at YMCA Camp Sherwin bike riding, taking out a paddle boat or walking on the beach.

YMCA Camp Sherwin is a public outdoor recreation facility located on 70 acres of waterfront property in Lake City, PA.