Today is Wear Red Day, reminding us to take care of our hearts as part of good health, and it is also the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics. That seems to be quite fitting, underlining many important reasons for including sports in our lives and our children’s–physical, mental and emotional.
We all know that physical activity is necessary for healthy bodies. It’s also required for brains. Much of children’s learning and development needs movement to build the pathways for language, math, and other skills. Participating in sports is one way to enjoy vigorous physical activities. Some team sports, such as little kickers soccer, are available for preschool children, but there are different opportunities such as swimming, skating, hiking, and others that support kindergarten readiness. We don’t call Going-To-The-Playground a sport, but for young children, it could be.
Sports help with another connection, that of one heart to another. Even in individual sports, there are ways to get together. Part of the Olympics is certainly getting to meet people from around the world. Many sports teams and athletes mention the role of their fans. In practically any activity, children will be interacting with kids and other adults, learning and practicing social skills. Having a social support group is an essential part of good physical, mental, and emotional health for all of us.
Kids and grownups might be wearing red today or blue, yellow, black, or green, or some variation of them. No matter what color clothes are, for healthy bodies, minds, and hearts, can you include some physical activity time for your child, for fun and learning?