Keeping Kids Active While at Home
Helpful tips for keeping your kids HAPPY, BUSY and GROWING!
ESF is committed to the well-being and health of our campers and families. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be sharing helpful information from our subject matter experts to support you and your family during these rapidly changing times. Today, we’re sharing some tips from our partner, The Aspen Institute’s Project Play, on how to keep kids moving during school closures and sports cancellations.
Play in the Yard or Basement
“Do not perpetuate mass gatherings,” advises Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, a sports medicine physician at Emory University and an adviser on Project Play’s Healthy Sport Index. Instead, he recommends children play in an isolated environment such as the yard or basement doing individual activities such as running, riding bikes or playing tennis.
Movement Between Periods of Study
Many schools have closed and moved toward distance learning for the safety of their students and staff. Sara Poehlman, a nurturing care expert who works on emergency education and parent programs, stresses that children must move to ensure their physical and mental well-being. “Especially if children are [participating] in distance learning via computer, movement in between periods of study is essential to ensure focus, concentration, and sustained attention. Boys and girls [also] need free, unstructured time for play,” Poehlman says. “If they do have worries, play can be a strategy to work them out.”
Select Screen Content that Encourages Physical Activity
Screen time may seem like a solution to keep children occupied, but it can be detrimental to their mood and energy when used for a prolonged period of time, says Poehlman. Instead, she recommends short intervals of screen time (no binge watching) and to select content that motivates physical activity (dance like a YouTube star) or reinforces learning themes and skills. Poehlman also advises including activities such as running around the block, jumping jacks, yoga, or a dance party in your child’s physical routine.
For more parent resources and information on how youth sports organizations are managing these challenging times, visit www.aspenprojectplay.org. Used with permission from The Aspen Institute’s Project Play.
Stay-tuned for more helpful tips on keeping your kids HAPPY, BUSY and GROWING
while school is closed.
The Aspen Institute recognized ESF Camps & Experiences as a Project Play Champion at their annual Project Play Summit—the nation’s premier gathering at the intersection of youth, sports and health. The Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative develops, applies, and shares knowledge that helps build healthy communities through sports. The organization produces reports that measure the state of play at the national, regional, and city levels, with exclusive data and insights. Since 2015, their work has been cited and highlighted by national and international media, including The New York Times, ESPN, BBC, Fox News, and Associated Press, among others. Each fall, Project Play presents new recommendations, frameworks, and tools at the Project Play Summit. A limited number of organizations are selected as Project Play Champions each year.