Experts Campaign for More Play Time for Children

June 2, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. engage [in] (v.) – to make someone interested and involved in something
Example:  Their mother engages them in cooking so they all help in the kitchen.

2. outdoor (adj.) – refers to something used, performed or happening outside
ExampleOutdoor activities like boating and climbing trees help make children healthy.

3. address (v.) – to deal with or to solve
 Example: The president addressed the education crisis by meeting with the chairmen of different schools.

4. strategy (n.) – a plan or method for a particular purpose
Example:  The government has come up with a strategy to solve safety issues in the city.

5. impediment [to](n.) – something that slows down or stops the development of something
Example: Strong rain is an impediment to tennis and baseball.

Read the text below.

Experts advise parents to play more with children and engage them in outdoor activities after results of a survey in the UK revealed that parents do not play enough with their children.

According to the survey conducted on 2000 parents of children between ages 3 and 15, 13% of parents were not confident about play while 17% admitted to buying toys and video games so they are not pressured to play with their children.  

Furthermore, 59% of fathers and 42% of mothers said they spent less than five hours a week playing with their children because they were too busy.

Adrian Voce, a campaigner of play, says playing with children is a very basic and important activity. Moreover, children feel happy when parents play with them.
The survey also showed that 90% of children watched DVDs and 70% played video games, and only about 33% still played outdoor games.

To address this situation, drinks company Ribena, which ran the survey, advises parents to create playtime activities using ordinary things in the house like cans, pillow cases and old boxes.

UK charity National Trust, meanwhile, promotes outdoor activities for families.  The charity has listed 50 things a child must try, including climbing a tree, flying a kite and camping.

Voce believes outdoor play is important as well. He is aware, however, that crime and traffic are impediments to the safety of children outside the house. He has called on the government to set up a national play strategy to provide safe, outdoor play spaces or communities near children’s homes.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, should parents be encouraged to play with their children? Why or why not?
·         How important is playtime in the growth and development of a child?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is safe for children to play outside in your area or community? Why or why not?
·         How can parents keep their children safe outside their homes? 


June 2, 2012