Current Events

Super Bowl: Physical Activity for Kids

February has another exciting event this weekend: Super Bowl and Super Bowl reminds us about the importance of physical activity for kids.

While the Super Bowl itself has only been around since last century, the history of sports goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece. Throughout the ages, people have understood the benefits of having a healthy, fit body. Sport is one way of being active.

physical activity for kidsFor young kids, there are countless ways of being active, even inside. It would be nice, if like the ancient Greeks, we had neighborhood gyms. Even during miserable weather, there are things kids can do in the house. As kids play, they reach, stretch, bend, and move. We can give them space to play, even in a hallway because they are usually pretty clear of furniture. Kids can move down a hall in a variety of ways. How would an elephant walk? Despite their size, elephants do not stomp. They take big steps but are quiet. How about a crab? Lizards would move right close to the floor.

physical activity for kidsOne day in the winter, we rounded up some old socks and rolled them into snowballs. Little Sister really enjoyed throwing the snowballs down the hall. If there’s an open space, kids also like to throw a scarf up in the air and catch it before it falls to the floor. Another way to encourage kids to move is to put on some music and let them dance. We can dance along too. Check out YouTube for some yoga videos for kids.

phywical activity for kidsOutside time has lots more space to run and jump. Is there a neighborhood playground or park? Walks in the neighborhood are another way to be active. There might be puddles to jump in, snow to play in, or dry ground for kicking around a ball. Fences and rails add in the challenge of balancing.

These are just a few ideas for physical activity for kids. Maybe these could be warm-ups for Super Bowl?

Martin Luther King, Dreams, and Children

Dr. Martin Luther King, dreams, and children are all together in the book, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Ready to Read) written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Mike Gordon.

nartin-luther-king-children's bookIn this wonderful story, a first-grade class is on a field trip for MLK day and the teacher tells the kids, “Doctor King was a great leader because he had great dreams…about how to make the world a better place.” Children may have very different ideas about what dreams would make the world a better place, like ice cream at every meal, but they also have surprising insights.

When talking about dreams, Little Sister explained to me, “If you come into my room in the night and I’m not in my bed, it’s because I’m in a dream. I would shout to you very loudly, ‘Here I am. I’m just in a dream,’ and you will know where to find me.” Although it took me a minute to clue in, I realized that she thought when she was in a dream that she was no longer in her bed. After all, no one can be in two places at once. It’s quite logical. Her dream is another reality.

Although we know what dreaming is about, her idea of a dream is a great reminder. When we have a dream, we can’t just lie there and hope it will happen. We truly do have to get up and be in that dream.

Dr. Martin Luther King not only had a dream, he was an active participant in that dream. He had a dream and he shouldered the task of making it a reality. Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. And he walked many.

Today, we can ask kids 2 questions: 1-What do you think would make the world a better place? and 2-How can we do that? Then we need to ask ourselves if we are only dreaming or if we are being our dream.

Colors of Childhood: A Rainbow For The Day

Did you see the pictures of the rainbow for the day over Manhattan? The young children of this generation were not yet born for September 11th, 2001. They weren’t even twinkles in their parents’ eyes.  Yet, it is for them that we continue to strive to create a more peaceful and secure world.

cookies-rainbowOne of the messages of this day that echoes over the years is to take the time to let others know we love them. Even the sky seemed to be sending a message with its rainbow over the area. Instead of just being busy, we took some time to be together, to connect, and  so we made a batch of cookies.

As we mixed up the cookie dough, this simple activity seemed to be a way to recognize what’s important—home and family, and taking care of each other. Thinking of the rainbow, we added a few brightly colored smarties, with a couple to munch on as we measured and stirred, and the rest of them did get into the bowl.

While the cookies were baking, we tidied the kitchen and washed the dishes. The fresh, fragrant cookies only needed a few minutes to cool before we sat down and enjoyed eating them. Then the kids went off to play.

There are so many life lessons in making cookies: how we can make something together, clean up is part of the process, and taking care of basic needs, to name a few. Lots of other learning too: measuring, counting, how heat changes ingredients, doing things in order, reading a recipe, and more.

Who knows what any day will bring, but for this day, we had a small rainbow of our own. What will you and your family do today?

The Early Years: Week of the Young Child

The Importance of the Early Years Last week was the Week of the Young Child for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Sometimes, it feels like that every week! But these seven days were a special celebration for one of the world’s largest organizations for kids. The aim of the week was … Continue reading The Early Years: Week of the Young Child

2 Minutes for Remembering: Veterans Day – Remembrance Day

When kids are quiet for as long as a whole minute, as parents and caregivers, we worry and rush to see what they are doing.  But on Nov. 11th, the Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the Eleventh month, we are asked to observe 2 minutes of silence. Children are far too young to … Continue reading 2 Minutes for Remembering: Veterans Day – Remembrance Day