SO GET UP AND GET MOVING!
Movement is needed to grow and learn! It is essential for our physical and mental health. Movement and stimulating our senses: what we hear, see, taste, smell, & touch is so pivotal. Exploring and moving within our environment is how our brains learn and how we can help ourselves to have better focus and be more attentive.
It’s widely known that too much screen time is not the best thing for growing minds. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to the following:
- Under 18 months: Avoid screen time aside from video chatting
- Ages 2-5: 60 minutes total per day
“A child’s first five years are crucial for brain development. Young children need touch, interaction and real-world stimulation from people and three-dimensional objects. It’s helpful to have entertainment tactics that fall into these categories in your back pocket, even if your child gets under the recommended amount of screen time”.
from “Don’t Pass the Phone: 7 Alternatives to Screen Time” written by Lynn Louise Wonders
Finland has a great approach. The school day consists of 3 hours 45 minutes of instructional time with five 15 minute play breaks. Come rain or shine, the 75 minutes of play breaks are completed throughout the day. With more time to gain movement and physical play the children were more attentive and productive during the instructional periods. Finland has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, near 100%. They also are one of the top scoring countries for Math and Science.
With the school semester coming to an end, here are some fun activities and crafts for the whole family to enjoy!
- Make cards for family and friends
- Start a journal or diary
- Paint a picture
- Learn to play an instrument
- Family game night
- Make puppets from old socks for a puppet show
- Put together a puzzle
- Make a necklace or key-chain
- Learn a magic trick
- Have a tea party
- Make homemade Play-doh
- Blow bubbles
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Play tag with friends
- Climb a tree
- Bike rides with friends
- Make an obstacle course with jump ropes, balls, chairs and playground equipment
- Fly a kite
- Start a garden
- Make a lemonade stand
- Scavenger hunt
- Play on a playground
- Relay races with siblings and friends
- Catch and throw with a ball of choice
- Kick a soccer ball around
- Shoot hoops with a basketball
- Go on a bug hunt
- Paint rocks and then hide them
- Family talent show
Here are some additional references for family friendly community activities to think about as the weather becomes more conducive to outside activities!