On Saturday, April 26, the Northshore YMCA is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, features face painting, inflatables, Holly the Husky, demonstrations, arts and crafts and more to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.
After being cooped up during one of the most brutal winters in recent memory, families are eager for warmer weather so they can get outside and play. Research shows that play is an important part of children’s physical, emotional and intellectual development. With spring upon us, now is a great time to make play and outside activity part of your family’s regular routine. Here are some ideas:
Remember, every little bit helps Active play is an important part of keeping families happy and healthy. In fact, childhood obesity increases 29 percent in neighborhoods without a park or playground, according to KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need. Instead of driving to your local playground or park, walk or bike, to get in an extra dose of activity. Every little bit helps in keeping your kids growing up strong - physically, emotionally and intellectually. Keep imagination at the forefront Kids can do anything they put their minds to, and they can keep themselves busy for hours with just their imaginations. Bring that power to your next outdoor adventure by creating a make-believe obstacle course based on their favorite book or movie at your local play area. Get other kids involved and become the MVP of playtime.
Pledge to be active Staying active on a consistent basis is key to achieving a balanced lifestyle. Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active, provides a host of tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. Visit www.LetsPlay.com for a wealth of ideas to incorporate play into your day, and take the Let’s Play Pledge to devote additional playtime each week to your family’s routine.
It’s all about balance Playtime takes a lot of energy, so make sure your kids are armed with healthy and nutritious nibbles to replenish their growing minds and bodies. Fruits, veggies, applesauce, whole grains and snack-size cheese are great after-play snacks. Make sure kids are also staying hydrated to keep their energy levels up throughout the day.
When you hear the word ‘habit,’ the first thing that probably comes to mind is a behavior, perhaps one that’s not so good for you, that’s hard to break. But we often don’t think of the fact that there are good habits that we should be striving to form. Unfortunately, the better the habit, the more difficult it seems to start. One such habit is putting aside money for the future, whether it be starting your retirement planning, building an emergency car repair fund, or saving for your child’s future college expenses.
When looking for summer programs for children, many people try to find something fun that will fill the out-of-school time so children (and parents) get a break from the school routine. Numerous studies, however, acknowledge that those few months out of the classroom can be a time when children lose skills and knowledge. Summer arts programs help bridge the gap between summer fun and enhancing academic skills.
The Northwest Art Center, a non-profit organization that offers visual arts programs for children, youth, and adults, provides year-round art education programs that give students a solid grounding in the fundamentals of art while incorporating fun and creative expression. Summer programming happens for children ages 3 through 17.