Healthy Kids Day
April 24, 2013

Your local YMCA is much more than a place to use the gym or get swimming lessons for your children (though those are great reasons to visit!). It can also inspire a lifetime of healthy activities, as well as knit new friendships through summer camp or afterschool programs.

Saturday, April 27 is the Y’s annual Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of families and to help them get a jump on creating a healthier summer. According to the YMCA, some kids are prone to gain more weight and fall behind in studies during the summer, when exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind end with the school year.

A dozen Greater Boston YMCA branches are holding free community events this Saturday (see the schedule online for exact details). Depending on the facility, activities may include martial arts, dance, family swim, health screenings, arts and crafts, science experiments, relay races, obstacle courses, rock wall climbing, scavenger hunts, summer games, raffle prizes, face painting, circuit training, safety tips, and more.

Below are some great ideas, courtesy of the Y, to get the whole family moving any time. Many more will be offered at the various events around Boston. And there’s certainly no need to limit these just to summer.

  • Get kids cooking. If kids get involved in choosing and preparing meals, they'll be more interested in eating what they've created. Take them to the store, and let them choose produce for you. If they're old enough, have them to cut up veggies and mix them into a salad.
  • Get the family together today and plant a garden. Plant your family's favorite herbs and flowers. Teach your kids the importance of taking care of their plants this summer.
  • Host a neighborhood TGIF! Get friends and family together for a roller skating block party. Create a theme, pump up the tunes and encourage everyone to dress up.
  • Try creating a hybrid sport! Mix together two sports like baseball and basketball to make your family's own unique game! Chalk a diamond on the basketball court and take shots from 'bases.'

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Tip of the Day

Make a simple bug cage by washing out an empty plastic peanut butter jar and poking holes in the lid (or use plastic strawberry or salad containers). Invite some insects inside for observation.

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