Monday, December 3, 2012

Five Fun And Messy Art Projects For Active Kids

Too often we think of art projects as something kids can do only while sitting quietly. Fortunately, for those of us with squirmy, active kids, that’s not true! Summer is the perfect time to get your active and creative kids outside to make some messy art projects. Here are five fun art activities to get you started.

Splatter Painting. Encourage your little Jackson Pollocks to create a giant masterpiece. Spread out a large piece of paper on the ground and provide a variety of paint and brushes. Kids will enjoy splattering, dripping and flicking paint across the paper. Stand clear because this gets really fun and really messy very quickly!

Marble Rolling: Place a piece of paper in a deep tray or large bin. Kids can coat marbles or other small objects such as golf or ping pong balls with paint. They could even use toy cars. Have children place paint-coated objects in the tray and tilt the tray to roll the objects back and forth in different directions. Kids will love manipulating the objects to make tracks across the paper.

Container Painting. Wrap a piece of paper along the inside edge of a container. Large yogurt containers work especially well, but any size container, large or small, will do. Have kids squirt a few dime-sized blobs of paint in the container and drop in several small objects: marbles, pom pom or cotton balls, rocks, and acorns produce great results. Place lid tightly on container and shake, roll, and toss it around. Put on some music and dance! When kids decide they’re done, open up the container and view the new masterpiece.

Foot Painting. You’ve heard of finger painting, so why not let your kids paint with their toes? Spread out a large piece of paper, squirt paint in a tray that kids can step into. Let your kids walk, run, dance, skip, hop and jump across the paper. A bucket of soapy water will come in handy before they head back inside!

Ball Painting. This one is not for the faint of heart, but kids love it. Coat tennis or ping pong balls with tempera paint and let your kids bounce them against paper you’ve spread out on the ground, or hung on a fence. If you use washable paints and are feeling especially brave, let the kids loose on the driveway, the fence, or the even the garage door. The art will stay put until the next rain storm – or until someone turns the hose on it!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Raising Healthy, Active Kids

Since we launched “Let’s Move,” folks from every sector of society have been stepping up to help our kids lead healthier lives.
 Major food manufacturers are cutting sugar, salt and fat from their products.  Restaurants are revamping kids’ menus and loading them with healthier, fresher options.  Companies like Walgreens, SuperValu, Walmart, Calhoun’s Grocery are committing to build new stores and to sell fresh food in underserved communities all across this country.
Congress passed historic legislation to provide more nutritious school meals to millions of American children.  Our schools are growing gardens all over the place.  Cities and towns are opening farmers markets.  Congregations are holding summer nutrition programs for their kids.  Parents are reading those food labels, and they’re rethinking the meals and the snacks that they serve their kids.
 So while we still have a long way to go, we have seen so much good progress.  We’ve begun to have an impact on how, and what, our kids are eating every single day.  And that is so important.  It’s so important.
 But it’s not enough.  There is still more to do.  Because we all know that the problem isn’t just what’s happening at meal time or at snack time.  It’s also about how our kids are spending the rest of their time each and every day. It’s about how active our kids are.
The First Lady explained that today’s children are the most sedentary generation in the history of our country. They spend an average of 7.5 hours a day watching TV and using computers, cell phones, or video games. Only one-quarter of them play outside every day, compared to three-quarters just one generation ago. It wasn’t always like this, she said:

Many of you probably grew up just like I did.  Back then … remember how we would walk to school every day?  You would get to school and then you’d run around the playground before the bell rang.  You’d get to school early just to run around before the bell rang.
Then just a couple of hours later, we were back outside for recess -- more running around.  And then after lunch, we had another recess, and then all of us, we all had regular P.E. classes.  And then once you got out of school, if you didn’t have homework, we spent hours riding bikes, jumping rope, playing ball, playing tag.  And you didn’t come home until dinner was ready.  And if your mother was anything like mine, she’d send you right back out.
Back then, kids were constantly in motion.  We rarely went more than a few hours without engaging in some kind of heart-pounding, sweat-inducing, active play. And that’s an important word:  play. Back then, play meant physical activity.  Sitting around watching TV didn’t count as playing.
She said that a number of factors have led to this change. Urban sprawl means kids are less likely to walk to school. Budget cuts mean fewer P.E. classes and school sports. Neighborhoods have fewer parks and sidewalks. The Internet is available 24/7, meaning there’s always an opportunity to stay inside be entertained by something on a screen.

Unfortunately, this sedentary lifestyle has real consequences, especially for children. Their growing bodies need physical activity for building healthy bones and muscles, maintaining healthy hearts and lungs, and controlling anxiety and stress. Unhealthy kids require costly medical treatment for preventable conditions. Overweight and obese students are likely to miss more than two weeks of school each year, meaning their parents lose days at work and businesses lose out on productivity.

The First Lady said that changing the way our children play and helping them become more active again will require a commitment from everyone.

So today, I want to call on all of you, and folks all across the country, to just step back and ask yourselves, “What more can I do to help our kids lead more active and healthy lives?”  I want you to ask yourselves what you can do to invest, or to innovate, or to inspire our kids to get out there and play again.
 And when I say invest, I don’t just mean money.  I also mean time, and energy, and passion.  I’m talking about schools that have started running clubs and fitness competitions; schools that are working physical activity into classes ranging from music to math.  I’m talking about communities keeping the high school gym open on weekends or organizing volunteers to refurbish parks and playgrounds.
I’m talking about faith leaders who are starting exercise ministries for families in their congregations.  I’m talking about businesses sponsoring youth sports leagues and helping their employees get active.  Because we know that when mom or dad starts getting in shape at work,that can have an impact on other members of the family at home.
The benefits to helping our the youngest members of our society get healthy will last far beyond our time:

And if we succeed, we won’t just raise this generation of children to be healthier adults.  You see, what you all understand is that when we instill healthy habits in our kids today, when we teach them to eat well and stay active today, that affects how they’ll raise their own children years from now.  That affects the habits that they’ll teach them and the food they’ll feed them and how healthy all of our grandkids will be.  And that can continue on throughout the generations.
 That’s what we’re doing here.  We’re impacting generations.  That is the kind of impact we can have, one that will last long after all of us are gone.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ex-olympic champion Sally Gunnell to get children active

With current obesity trends suggesting that one fifth of children will be overweight or obese by 2010. Sally Gunnell, Tumble Tots and Cartoonito are calling to children to join the 50,000 Tumble Tots members to Jump for Joy during National Children’s Activity Week.
Now in its 14th year, National Children’s Activity Week which runs from the 8th-14th October is supported by one of BritainĂ¢€™s best known female athletes, Olympic Gold Medallist, and mother of three, Sally Gunnell OBE. The campaign is designed to bring to the fore the importance of encouraging children to participate in physical activity from a young age. This year the Tumble Tots initiative is partnered by Cartoonito on Sky 619, a brand new pre-school channel from Cartoon Network.
Parents need to take the lead in developing their childrens physical and social development at an early age. Olympic Gold Medallist Sally Gunnell OBE says Children are never too young to get active. Right from the word go, activity should be a way of life and the impetus must come from parents. Kids love playing games with their parents and these activities don’t have to cost a fortune. The key point is to have fun and join in with them, because that’s what they really like, adds Sally, an avid supporter of National Children’s Activity Week campaign.
Jo Barlow, Vice President of Marketing and PR at Turner Kids Channels says: We’re delighted to be supporting Tumble Tot’s National Activity Week this year. It’s a great fit with our preschool channel Cartoonito which encourages pre-schoolers and parents to interact and have fun. Shows like Hi-5 and Go and Get a Grown Up actively promote activity, and we we’re pleased to support an initiative that does the same.
The importance of physical activity at an early age is paramount for our children to develop into healthy and active adults. We must all remember that physical activity is a tonic for the mind, as well as the body, reducing anxiety and stress and helping children to feel good about themselves. It also provides the perfect opportunity to mix with other children, learn to socialise and make friends. ,said, Veronica Periera MD Tumble Tots (UK) Ltd.