How to make the most of kids' clubs

The experts' take on what little ones' play corners have to offer 

How to make the most of kids' clubs
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Play areas, kids’ clubs, fun corners, whatever we choose to call them, there’s no denying that they’re little ones’ chosen dens when it comes to everything kiddie, but what are their real benefits?

“It has long been known that kids benefit from physical activity. This has become even more important in this day and age when more and more kids are exposed to electronic devices,” says Dr Rajeev Tomar, consultant paediatrician at King’s College Hospital London in the UAE.

In this digital era, the importance of non-digital, physical games and play activities cannot be over-emphasised – and this is precisely what you find at kids’ clubs.

“Not only does this type of play make kids physically stronger and healthier, but it also makes them happier mentally, teaching them many important skills such as teamwork, strategy, focus and resilience to overcome failure too,” says Dr Mandar Vishwanath Bichu, specialist paediatrician at Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah.

“Simple, unstructured play (running, hide-and-seek, ball games, etc.) is the best type for toddlers when it comes to fostering growth through physical activity as well as imaginative creativity. As they grow older, structured games can be introduced,” he adds.

Let’s also remember that, for kids in Dubai, the weather wouldn’t allow for plenty of time spent outdoors. This gives us even more reasons to love kids’ clubs.

“Indoor play areas offer an all-year playing option with the promise of safety and security. Wall-climbing, martial arts classes or climbing and sliding play-rides are the main offerings in most of these places. Others even have indoor swimming pools,” says Dr Bichu.

The emotional and physical development of kids has a direct effect on their overall growth. Hence, every day spent playing will affect them in more ways than one, shaping them into the adults they will become.

“There are various age-specific activities a child can do which can help in these domains. For example, sand and water play, drawing and painting, block and jigsaw sorters, as well as music and dancing,” says Dr Nitin Verma, consultant paediatrician at King’s College Hospital London in the UAE.

The most important factor when it comes to indoor play is choosing the right venue, highlights Dr Bichu.

“Make sure that the premises and equipment are well-maintained, and that attending professionals are trained in safety procedures including CPR.”

Let’s get playing, kiddies.

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