The schedule for Daddy and Me is confirmed until December 2013. We are entering our seventh year of events around the community and the third year of gym nights. Many thanks to Pam at The Family Place for her ongoing coordination and enthusiasm.
As always, on this site, I strive to explain the link between physical activity, play and learning. Current brain research tells us that we learn best while moving and doing interesting, new things. Dr. John Medina is an award winning author who explains these links simply and clearly. In a nutshell, sitting, listening and writing are not the best ways to learn new ideas.
We also learn best when we manage stress. All people, children included, manage stress best when their bodies are active. And it doesn’t need to be expensive, structured sports. Any kind of active play supports the body, heart and mind. Check out this great post on how active children manage stress.
Study: Active children manage stress better
And check out these former posts
The importance of Vitamin N (nature) in the physical and emotional health of our families.
As usual, both events this month are active, creative and open ended. Our objective with Daddy and Me is to celebrate dads and all that they bring to the lives of children. Obviously not all dads participate in these type of events but we hope that all dads recognize the importance of a male role model in the lives of young people. Whatever your active play looks like, do it early and often with the little people in your life.
What’s most important, [researcher Laura] Padilla-Walker said, is that fathers realize they matter. Quality time is important, she said. “That doesn’t mean going on fancy vacations. It can be playing ball in the backyard or watching a movie with your kids,” she said. “Whatever it is, just make yourself available and when you’re with your children, be with them.”
We hope to see you at one or both events. The schedule for the rest of the year is on hold until funding is secured. For more information, contact Pam Lillico at North Peace Community Resources. 250.785.6021 ext. 232.
March is coming in like a lamb. I hope the beautiful weather gets lots of families out of the house. Winter can feel so long here. But there are many wonderful people at StrongStart and the Rotary Play Centre waiting to cheer you. The easiest way to get through the winter season with small kids is get outside. The 2nd best way is to come to our play based, parent participation learning centres.
StrongStart programs don’t run during the school spring break March 18 – April 1. Rotary Play Centre, though, is only closing from March 25 – April 1. If you haven’t visited the CDC centre, March 18th – 22nd might be a good week to give it a try.
The Pre-school Health Round-up is a FUN event. We try to make it engaging for kids and parents alike. There will be lots of interesting activities for kids and valuable information for parents. I always enjoy being a part of this event because it is so supportive of families.
The Totem Mall is a new partner this spring. We are hoping the venue will add an element of excitement while making it easier for families to participate. The convenient parking is the best part. Please plan to spend about an hour with your little ones.
The 6th parent conference is Saturday, March 9th at North Peace Secondary School. There are a few interesting twists this year.
Attend alone or with your children. You can bring your kids 3+ years and older. Either register them for child minding (3 – 5 years), enter them in the Fun Fair (6 – 12 years) or attend sessions together (various ages 10+).
Attend 1, 2 or all 3 sessions. No obligation to stay all day.
Traditional keynote has been replaced by energizing activities in the gym to stimulate your thinking and “grow” your brain.
And as usual, it’s all FREE! There are many door prizes and give aways for participants. Many thanks to our sponsors Success by 6, Children First, Child Care Resource and Referral and School District 60.
There are sessions for many interests including:
oral language development
play based learning
quad and outdoor recreational safety
understanding challenging behaviours
AND MANY MORE
Download the registration package for more information then register online. If you prefer, you can fill out a paper copy and fax it to Pat Lang, 250.785.6123 or drop it off at any SD60 school.
Here are two excellent blogs about Nature. I am a huge fan of Richard Louv‘s Nature mouvement. He is a crusader for healthier children and communities through natural play. His work is a catalyst for me to get outside with my kids. It’s positively affecting my entire family. I’m a believer!
This poster makes me cringe because of all the little boisterous souls I have discouraged over the years. I believe I did so gently and with love but I still sent them the message that they weren’t quite “good enough” when they couldn’t sit still. “When you know better you dobetter.” ― Maya Angelou
I don’t know if you’re like me, but as soon as the holiday rolls around and our routines stop, we usually huddle up at home. We often don’t use the time to get active all together. And then afterward, we all lament the missed opportunity. And this happens year after year. But this holiday, I have a plan.
Click below for an excellent blog post about toys that give the gift of physical activity.
If you’re feeling shocked that December is already here, you’re not alone! But as the excitement of the holiday grows, we hope you will include us in your weekly plans. StrongStart can be a great venue to use up the extra energy that seems to bubble over this time of year. Check out Robert Ogilvie’s extra gym time.
Parents are always asking themselves, each other and experts what they can do to help their young children be happy and healthy. The current research on the brain is helping me navigate my own parenting journey. The best books I’ve read lately are Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby. They’re easy to read and give very clear information about how to work smarter not harder as a parent.
“The human brain appears to have been designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable, outdoor environment and to do so in near constant motion.” Dr. John Medina
Dr. Medina explains that optimal learning occurs when three things are happening: We are outdoors. We are moving. We are experiencing new things which are important to us. How does that help parents? Well, these three things stick out for me.
The human brain was designed to survive first. Any “extra” learning only happens if the child feels totally safe and cared for. So before we try to “teach” our children, we need to attend to their survival needs. This can be a need for food, sleep or emotional connection to other important humans. That emotional connection to others is often called attachment. Attachment is a complex idea yet very empowering for parents. Dr. Gordon Neufeld‘s book, Hold on to your Kids, is a place to start if you are interested in learning about attachment.
Dr. John Ratey recommends we think of exercise as medicine: one part Ritalin and one part Prozac. And it’s FREE. It primes the brain for learning and keeps us all young.
3. Time in Nature
We know we should reduce screen time but what do we replace it with? Nature. If you want to raise healthy, active, calmer children, get them outside. Many pediatricians warn us that this generation of children will be the first to die at an earlier age than their parents. Inactivity is the key factor in this health decline. Playing outside means being active, which in the modern world, equals improved health.