How To Keep Kids Active and Engaged All Summer
Summer is a time when children can let their imaginations run wild! From creating their own to plays to building forts in the backyard, there’s no limit to what kids can dream up—provided their properly supported.
The Y wants to ensure all kids in the Ozarks awaken their summer imaginations through healthy eating habits and physical activity. Because when a child is happy, healthy, motivated and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result. As children grow and reach their true potential, they can accomplish great things.
That’s why we’re hosting Healthy Kids Day, a chance to help ensure families have the tools they need to help kids stay active and engaged all summer long. The annual event is a nationwide-initiative to improve the health and w
ell-being of kids and families. When a child is healthy, happy, motivated and excited, amazing things are bound to happen! Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days but instead, focus on physical and mental play. Across the nation nearly 1.2 million participants will partake in games, healthy activities, arts and crafts and more.
“As we head into the summer, the Y wants to help awaken their imaginations and help them achieve amazing things. There are no days off for a child’s developing mind and body,” said Kathryn Custer, C.O.O. of the Ozarks Regional; YMCA, “and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and engage kids to stay physically and intellectually active over the summer.”
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.
Healthy Kids Day encourages youth and families to awaken summer imagination and this cannot be done without proper nutrition. Walmart Foundation is proud to sponsor Healthy Kids Day to raise awareness about the importance of food security and nutrition for youth and families.