From one of Canada’s most inspiring and gifted sports heroes, an urgently needed guide to getting our kids active and healthy.
Like many of us, Silken Laumann’s fondest childhood memories are of play: staying outside until that final call for dinner, neighbourhood-wide games of Capture-the-Flag and road hockey that went on for hours.
But as a parent, Silken knows the world has changed. We are afraid to let our children out of sight, our streets don’t feel safe, neighbours don’t know and rely on each other like they used to. While we recognize the need for our kids to be active, our fears, along with our busy lives and the enormous societal pressure to (simultaneously) make athletes, academics, and artists out of our children, have led us to schedule their every activity, driving them to and from soccer practice, piano lessons, tutorials.
We have forgotten just how important unstructured play is for our children’s development and well-being: It keeps kids healthy, creative and active; it teaches them valuable life skills and, most importantly, it lets our kids be kids, worry-free, unfettered.
Child’s Play is a call for action, a guide to reconnecting with our kids, and a blueprint for building safe, supportive communities and healthy schools. Above all, it’s a book of simple ideas for parents desperate for change.
Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is best known for her phenomenal comeback after a devastating rowing injury just weeks before she was to compete in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She won a bronze medal for Canada. In November 2003, she established Silken’s Active Kids.
“This book’s strength lies in the combination of the author’s passion with the input of a good range of experts, including doctors, specialists in treating childhood obesity, teachers, sports coaches and political and social activists.”
“Laumann’s book is a practical approach about encouraging activity and unstructured play in almost any community. Her flashbacks to her childhood days of free play and the value of these experiences, even to a woman who would later become a competitive athlete, not only make sense but make one take a second look.”