Keeping Kids Active

Today, my friend Sheryl Nelson, owner of The Goddard School, located in Elgin, will share with us some amazing insight on the benefits of keeping your children active.  Sheryl has a Master’s degree in Psychology and Education with a focus on Early Childhood. Prior to Goddard, she gained some valuable experience working at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Goddard Schools Nationwide Kicks Off the “Get Active” Initiative to Keep Youngsters Moving Michelle Obama recently announced “Let’s Move,” a national campaign to combat childhood obesity through fitness and nutrition programs. Placing children on the right path to living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential, and that is why Goddard, the country’s leading childcare franchise company, initiated its “Get Active” campaign. From yoga to dance, dramatic play to music and movement, Goddard has been at the forefront of promoting children’s health by encouraging kids to get active throughout the day.

It’s important that children learn, at an early age, how to lead a healthy lifestyle.  Our proactive approach and innovative early childhood programs are ideal for promoting physical activity in young children and for laying the foundation for gross motor development.

To encourage children to “Get Active,” education experts at Goddard offer some simple and helpful ideas that you can do at home with your young child:

1. Take It Outside – Limit “screen time” and encourage your child to go outside and PLAY. Have a relay race, set up an obstacle course or bring back one of your favorite childhood pastimes like hopscotch or jump rope.

2. It’s In Your Nature – Take your child on a nature walk. Use this great opportunity to talk to your child about plants and animals you see while getting fresh air and exercise.

3. Get Dramatic – When you’re transitioning a child from one activity to another – like play time to dinner time - ask them to move like their favorite animal. Hop like a kangaroo, slither like a snake or waddle like a duck.

4. Be a Good Sport – Preschool age children love to learn the basic rules of popular sports and games. Take this opportunity to talk about sportsmanship.

5. Be Free – Remember free play? Let go of some structure, and encourage your children to use their imaginations in their indoor and outdoor play.

6. Stretch It Out – Preschoolers love basic yoga moves. Take a few minutes each day to stretch with your little one.

7. Put Some Movement In Your Music – When you sing songs or listen to music with young children, encourage them to dance with scarves, make up movements to go with the lyrics or just DANCE and move their bodies to the music.

The key to making exercise a habit is to make it FUN!

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