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According to the State of Obesity, Nebraska ranks 5th in the nation for childhood overweight and obesity in children ages 2-4. Yikes! Nebraska also has the 13th highest adult obesity rate in the nation.
I recently read the book What If Everybody Understood Child Development? By Rae Pica. The book is broken down into 3 parts with a total of 29 easy to read essays which reference real-life stories shared by teachers and parents. At the end of each essay, Rae provides the reader with ideas for what teachers can do as well as where teachers (and other adults) can go to for more information on the topic.
Part two of the book is all about understanding the mind/body connection. Rae discusses what the research says about active learning, how important physical fitness is to children’s health and development and why we should push our schools to review the research on recess and active play breaks for children.
Benefits of physical activity:
- reduces the risk of dying prematurely
- reduces the risk of developing diabetes
- reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- helps control weight
- increases the body’s infection-fighting white blood cells and germ fighting antibodies
- helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Based on research, it is clear that we need to keep our children and youth (and the adults too) more active. Fit Activity For Kids, What’s Your Name? is a developmentally appropriate active activity for adults to play with the children. To play, the player picks out the letters of their name, and then do the physical activity that goes with each letter. You might be wondering what would your child be learning during this activity. Literacy (Letter recognition), turn taking (social emotional), physical activity (healthy bodies, balance, core strength), and more!
Are you looking for new, creative ways to keep your children active and happy? Visit The Learning Child on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/unlextensiontlc/.
JACI FOGED, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD
Peer Reviewed by Lisa Poppe, Extension Educator, The Learning Child and Lynn DeVries, Extension Educator, The Learning Child
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