It’s the middle of the summer and kids might just be getting a little restless. Certainly a little change of pace could help cure this little case of restless kids. How about trying out this creative and healthy idea that incorporates kids of all ages in your out-of-school time programs?

Last summer we piloted a contest idea with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (we love our partners in The OrganWise Guys’ home county). The contest sought out creative older students in summer camps who were willing to come up with some unique ways to convey The OrganWise Guys’ health messages of LOW-FAT, HIGH-FIBER, LOTS OF WATER and EXERCISE to younger children using a variety of multi-media formats. Some suggested examples included: songs/raps, short skits, and poems. We were impressed with their final products. Check out this montage of the fun submissions.

Because the pilot turned out to be so fun, we encourage you to explore similar contests or ideas in your out-of-school time programs! Contact us if you would like to see a template to use for contest rules and submissions and please share your multi-media experiences with us so we can see just how creative you all are!

out-of-school time programs

The winners from Bogan Park seemed to really enjoy participating in the contest!

Accomplishing goalsWe’ve loved our latest kid’s blog series teaching kids about setting goals. We were then eager to teach them about working hard to achieve these goals, making sure they followed through. Now, we are just as excited to talk about how accomplishing goals is such an important life skill for kids to learn. So many times throughout their lives they will be faced with challenging situations in which it may be tough to commit to something long term. Accomplishing goals that they have set from the infancy stage gives kids a great sense of accomplishment when they finally attain them.

Make sure and download the coloring sheet for today so the kids can follow up with Luigi Liver and see how he was successful in accomplishing his goals!

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In July, tropical fruits like bananas, kiwis and pineapples are a Foods of the Month. Cool off this summer with these refreshing tropical fruit popsicles. Best of all, the fruits found in this recipe provide replenishing vitamins (like Vitamin C and K) and minerals (like potassium) for all your outdoor activities.

Tropical Fruit Popsicles

Ingredients

2 cups coconut water

1 banana, sliced thin

1 kiwi, chopped into small pieces

1/2 pineapple, chopped into small chunks

 

Directions

  1. Fill your popsicle molds with coconut water to about 3/4 of the mold, leaving extra space for the fruit. If you do not have popsicle molds, use a small paper cup and popsicle sticks.
  2. Carefully drop the tropical fruits into the popsicle molds so the coconut water doesn’t spill. Fill the molds with more coconut water, if needed.
  3. Freeze overnight, or at least 4 hours.
  4. Remove popsicles from their molds (you may need to run them under hot water to loosen them) and enjoy!

tropical fruit popsicles

Pepto Hand WashingIt may seem like a no-brainer to teach kids why hand washing is so important for good health. While kids likely know that they should wash their hands, a lot of times they get caught up in what they are doing at the time or playing that they don’t want to make the time to do it. Kids are usually in a hurry to get back to their friends or toys!

Hand washing is important for kids, especially after using the bathroom and before eating a meal, to make sure they are not spreading germs. Make sure to download the coloring sheet and activity sheets below as a reminder to kids to wash their hands. If you are looking to help them develop a habit of it, get this behavior tracking sheet that we featured on a previous blog this week to promote hand washing. It’s a fun way for the kids to “want” to wash their hands if they get to mark it off on the chart each time. Try it out … you may develop some pretty eager hand washers!

Download your free worksheets to teach why hand washing is important for kids:

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Click Activity Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

July Behavior Hand washing

We continue our series promoting healthy behaviors to be implemented and tracked for an entire month (and hopefully beyond). The behavior to implement in July is the importance of hand washing regularly to prevent germs from spreading. While summertime typically seems to offer a little break from the common illnesses, it’s still super important to remind your kids to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before they eat. We know that kids can get excited about playing and oftentimes do not want to slow down to consider hand washing, to assist with this reminder, you can download and print your July Behavior Tracking Sheet and use in your home, summer camp setting, or childcare center to encourage and track behavior change.

Watch as The Kidney Brothers sing about the importance of hand washing for good health:

We hope this month offers you many fun-filled memories with friends and family, without having to waste any time on sickness! Happy Hand Washing!

Park-and-Rec-Month-2015-290

July 1st marks the start of Park and Recreation Month. The annual monthly celebration encourages people to get out and experience the benefits of parks and recreation – from health and wellness to nature and everything in between. This year is the 30th anniversary celebration of July as Park and Recreation Month. To celebrate, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is encouraging retro, 1980s-type activities at local parks and recreation facilities, while also promoting the enduring benefits of parks and recreation. We’ve been fortunate to work with the NRPA and a number of parks and recreation sites around the country for the last few years and we love that they are focusing on creating healthier children!

Here’s how you can join in the celebration and celebrate Park and Recreation Month:

  • Include mention of Park and Recreation Month in newsletters and other communications (blog, social media, emails) throughout the month. 
  • Spread the word through social media using: #JULYPRM30
  • Download and post the web graphics and/or logo to your websites, social media platforms or include in your communications to show your support.
  • Grab your eighties gear and slang and participate in the Throwback Thursday Instagram Video Challenge. This sounds like tons of fun … we can’t wait to see these!

You can find all of the information at www.nrpa.org/july

Make sure and download your OrganWise Guys retro-inspired coloring sheet to celebrate parks and recreation this month!

 

WKKF TC2 Project Early Intervention

Despite rates of obesity continuing to increase among some low-income children ages 2-5, new results from the first of its kind study who that obesity measures significantly improved among children ages 2-5 who participate in Head Start Center-based nutrition and healthy living programming, as compared to children not in the program. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this program “shows much promise to reduce obesity rates of young children throughout our nation, using Head Start Centers as primary settings for this type of intervention.” says Dr. Danielle Hollar the study lead investigator. For more information, read the press release.

Thanks to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for making this project possible and for their ongoing support to help fight childhood obesity! Early intervention is definitely key!

Luigi Liver teaching kids to follow throughThere are a number of life lessons that kids need to learn as they grow up. One very important lesson is to teach kids to follow through on whatever it is they set their mind to do. This can be true in everyday life, in sports, housework, and even at work later on down the road. Once a decision has been made, or a goal has been set, teach kids to follow through with this decision or goal. This is such an important character trait to instill at a young age.

Have a discussion with your kids about setting some goals. Come up with some goals for inside the house and also outside the house. Try and let the kids initiate the idea and then you can write them down and hang them on a wall where they are easy to see. This will serve as a reminder that these goals have been set and will teach kids to follow through.

Also, make sure and download the fun coloring sheet below for the kids to color as well!

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Water Safety - Girl in Lifejacket

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, families across the country are heading to cooler places to celebrate. Water destinations are great fun, but safety is a major concern as oftentimes there are no safety measures in place and no lifeguards to ensure they are enforced.

We came across this helpful article discussing how drowning doesn’t always look like drowning. This is a real eye-opener as most people envision it involving a lot of splashing, flailing arms, yelling, etc. In actuality, it may be hard to even realize that a person is struggling in the water. This real-life near-drowning video has been circulating the internet recently and just goes to show how quick it can happen, how difficult it can be to spot, and just how serious a lifeguard should take their job. We give a huge shout out to the lifeguard for taking her job seriously and being so alert!

One way to ensure kids are being watched vigilantly, is to share the responsibility with each of the guardians who are there to “watch” their kids as they swim. If swimming with a group of friends, pick an item such as a pool diving stick or even create a silly hat with a pair of eyes on it that the adult “on duty” has to wear. The idea is to make sure that someone is “on alert” at all times. When one is on duty they can’t be on cell phones and all attention must be on not only their own child(ren), but on all the kids in the swimming area. We think this is a great way to be smart this Fourth of July holiday.

With all that being said, make sure and enjoy your vacation, just be safe!

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?

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Jun, 2015

Kidney Brothers Hard Work pays offWe recently talked about entrepreneurship and teaching kids how they can be entrepreneurs and work hard to reach goals. Today, The Kidney Brothers are celebrating the results of their hard work. This is a great way to inspire kids and show them that hard work pays off and that it’s a great idea to dream big, work hard and the results will show for themselves.

Make sure and download the fun coloring sheet and also if you want the kids to do a little math this summer, grab the activity sheet as well. Use these to help remind kids to dream big and work hard! A little cash reward at the end of it is a great incentive and certainly a reminder that hard work pays off!

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Click Activity Sheet