National Kids to Parks Day

This Saturday May 21, 2011 is National Kids to Parks Day!

Did you know that preschoolers and toddlers are supposed to get 120 minutes of play each day? 60 minutes of active play where they can run, jump, do whatever they want! and 60 minutes of structed play where adults help teach them active skills such as kicking a ball or swinging a bat. Older children are supposed to play 60 minutes a day! and all children should not be seated for more than 30 minutes at a time except when sleeping or eating.

This active play contributes to learning in young children. Their social skills grow as they interect with adults, other children, and even objects in the environment. Through active play children obtain necessary motor skills such as jumping, hopping, galloping, kicking, and throwing. Even better, joining your child in active play lets you reach your physical activity goal of 30 minutes a day and also spend quality time with your family!

In an effort to get our kids outside and moving more, make your pledge today to get outside and to a national, state, or local park! Go HERE to pledge!

Can’t get to a park that day? There are still lots of things you can with your family to get active!

  • Set up an obstacle course around the house or in the garage. Skip, walk backwards, crawl, bounce, or throw a ball in different parts of the obstacle course.
  • Move to Music. Put on music to get your children moving. Props can be used such as scarves or musical instruments.
  • Go on a nature walk. Have children bring a plastic bag to collect leaves, small sticks, and acorns. Ask them about each item as they put it intheir bag. When you get home you can make a collage with their findings!
  • Have a special day of the week, such as Bike Day, Pool Day, Park Day, or (your child’s name) Day. Let your children pick any outdoor acitivity of their choice for that day.
  • Go sledding on a small hill in the winter. Make snow people, snow structures, and snow angels.

To help kids get more active make a few small changes at home:

  • Keep TVs out of children’s bedrooms. Having a television in a child’s bedroom has been linked to overweight, poorer academic test scores, and sleep problems.
  • Purchase multipurpose and inexpensive toys such as different size balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, scarves, and used tricycle and scooters. (Remember the helmets!)
  • Remove breakable items from your child’s room and/or any play rooms. This will allow fo rmore activity without worrying about breaking anything!
  • Schedule family active play time daily.

Get out and Get moving! Don’t forget to pledge!

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