Following feedback from parents, we have been able to juggle our staffing to improve our StrongStart hours. Both Duncan Cran StrongStart and Robert Ogilvie StrongStart are now open every morning, Monday – Friday, from 8:30 – 11:30 am. Please check out the new calendars and drop into our newly renovated centres.
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.
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.
Tonight was our biggest Daddy and Me gym night. We had 16 dads and 21 kids out to Robert Ogilvie Elementary. These kids got 60 minutes or more of active play. I am so pleased to be a part of a community where Dads are valued and physical activity is a priority. What a great night!
Many thanks to SD 60 and North Peace Community Resources Society for sponsoring this monthly event. For more information, call Jaimelia @ 250.794.7336.
As we head back to school, I am trying to get my family more active. Weird, right? We were outside a lot over the summer but it was a quiet, restful time. Going back to school and work reminds me to get moving. For some people, routine weighs them down but my family thrives on it. Whatever September means for your family, here is some useful information.
If you’d like to print these guidelines, click below
More and more is being said for the healing effects of exercise and outdoor play. It’s a simple message. Get active and get outside. Why not do both this Friday as part of Nature Play Day. Click on the icon for more information.
If you, want to get the full benefits of nature but are having a hard time prioritizing it in the chaos of daily life, try setting a measurable goal. Dr. Suzuki challenges us to participate in the 30 X 30 challenge. Get outside for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. That sounds manageable to me. Click on the photo for a link to the Suzuki Foundation website.
This CBC article opens the door for more discussion about what ADHD really is and what it means for younger aged students and boys. I don’t have all the answers but if a certain group is more highly represented by this “developmental disorder”, we should all be asking ourselves a few more questions; what is being done to change the environment for the child instead of the child for the environment.
‘Less mature children’ in a class are ‘inappropriately labelled and treated’: UBC researcher
Sir Ken Robinson speaks eloquently about the structure of our educational system in this YouTube clip. He touches on ADHD and offers a very intriguing editorial on how to “treat” it. In this time of educational upheaval, there is always more opportunity for discussion about who we are as parents, as educators, as members of this community.
It is difficult to fathom that March is already here. Usually March is a shorter month for our programs, but this month we get four full weeks before the spring break. It’s a dinosaur theme for StrongStart and an Easter theme on the WOW Bus. Please come play with us.