We all know how important exercise is for adults, but what you may not realize is that children should also be getting plenty of exercise. Just about one-third of all American children age 10 to 17 are either overweight or obese. Combine that with the fact that less than 25% of children get at least an hour of moderate intensity physical activity per day, and you can see why our children need more exercise.
The fact that technology can keep our kids entertained for such long periods of time is also challenging. If given the choice, children will often prefer to stay indoors in front of some type of screen. Some schools have also cut physical education from their curriculum, leaving many kids without much motivation to get enough exercise.
Of course, exercise is important for the physical health and well-being of children, but did you know it can also provide plenty of other benefits including academic, social, emotional, and more? Children who are active for at least 60 minutes a day have lower rates of obesity which makes plenty of sense. Some of the other benefits for children who exercise include:
- Higher test scores in math and reading
- Increased brain development
- Improved behavior in and out of the classroom
- Active children are more likely to be active adults
- Increased size of essential brain structures as well as number of neural connections
- Better balance and coordination associated with improved emotional response
- Decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Improved self-image and judgment
Making exercise fun is one of the most important things parents and educators can do. If children enjoy physical activity they are more likely to seek it out on their own. It may also help to get involved yourself which can benefit both you and your children.
Kids love to play, and it’s not just all fun and games. Children develop from playing in a variety of ways. Play positively impacts development in young children and continues to be beneficial as they grow older. Keep reading to learn some of the many benefits children receive from play.
- Imagination – Even if a child doesn’t have anyone else to play with, their imagination can be their best friend. Sometimes having an overactive imagination isn’t the best trait, but being imaginative helps with creativity and thinking outside the box which can come in handy later in life.
- Problem Solving – Whether they’re trying to solve puzzles or playing a variety of other games, children will need to solve problems to reach their desired result. They will learn that what may appear to be a difficult task can be overcome through time and patience.
- Skill Building – There are several skills children can learn from playing by themselves or with others. For example, playing baseball develops hand-eye coordination and teamwork. Building something out of blocks or Legos requires planning and spatial intelligence.
- Overcoming Challenges – There are plenty of challenges that play presents. Whether it’s getting frustrated when something won’t come together or learning how to get along with others, play teaches children that challenges can be overcome.
- Working Together – Teamwork is a skill that almost everyone needs. Whether you’re heavily depending on others or just keeping the peace, we all work together with co-workers, family, friends, classmates, and others.
Here are a few tips to help make your children’s playtime more fun and effective:
- Don’t limit them to a certain amount of time, within reason.
- Join in with them if they’re interested.
- Take some time after they play to ask them what they did, if they had any challenges, what they liked and disliked, etc.
Play is a natural part of childhood and should be embraced for its positive qualities. Whether it’s inside, outside, or jumping around at BounceU Farmingdale, play on!
Birthday parties are lots of fun for kids, but having the same type of party every year can get monotonous. Kids like to try new things, and in our society what’s popular seems to change on a yearly basis. What was popular last year is likely long gone, so knowing some of the most popular birthday party themes for 2018 is important if you want to be a “hip” parent.
- Peppa Pig – All the kids can wear pig noses and ears. You can draw pig faces on pink balloons and serve chocolate milk that you call “muddy puddles”.
- Minions – It’s easy to throw a minion themed birthday party – just think yellow. Decorate a cake or some cupcakes with minion eyes and get yellow balloons and foods like popcorn or pineapples.
- Trampoline Park – If you really want to get the party jumping, visit an indoor playground where kids can bounce around. Combine this great location with another theme if you really want to make it fun.
- Superheroes – If your kid loves superheroes, why not let them be one for their birthday? Let them choose their favorite and dress up like them. Ask the other kids to dress up or provide costumes for them.
- Star Wars – You might have even had a Star Wars party as a kid, but the film series is still popular today with new movies still being released. Make DIY lightsabers or opt for a Death Star piñata to make the party out of this world.
- Moana – You can throw an old-fashioned luau thanks to the popularity of Disney’s Moana. Provide leis for the kids to wear and serve a hibiscus flower cake and/or frosted flower cookies.
- Emojis – Even if your kids aren’t old enough to use social media, they may have seen The Emoji Movie. You can turn just about anything into emojis including balloons, cookies, and more.
Birthday parties for kids are lots of fun, but you’ll want to make sure to keep them entertained. Whenever you gather a bunch of children with no agenda, things are bound to get loud and conflicts might also arise.
Birthday parties are supposed to be enjoyable for everyone, so you don’t want a lot of downtime with fun activities. Here are some suggestions to keep the little ones busy and having a great time during a birthday party.
- Stuffed Animal Dress Up – Ask the kids (actually ask the parents) to bring one of their favorite stuffed animals to the party. Have some extras on hand in case anyone forgets. Provide a variety of doll clothes and accessories including hats, scarves, jewelry, and more. Let them dress up their animals and play with them together.
- Puppets – Puppets have been around for a long time but they aren’t used as often today. Kids still love them, especially if they get to make them themselves. You can go with sock puppets or Styrofoam balls. Let them decorate with yarn, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and markers. Let them name their puppet and then provide a backdrop so they can put on a puppet show. Record the video and share it with the parents so the kids have something to remember.
- Treasure Hunt – This is quite easy and fun. Let the kids break up into small teams and hunt for some “buried treasure”. Give them clues to find the treasure which can be a number of things including chocolate “gold” coins. You can even make treasure maps to help them search. Make sure everyone gets a prize at the end so nobody is disappointed.
- Bounce Centers – There’s plenty for kids to do and by the time the party is over they’ll be ready for a nap. Kids love to jump and can bounce around safely in private bounce rooms with giant inflatables. Pizza, beverages, balloons, cake, and party favors are also available for birthday parties at BounceU Farmingdale.