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Keep Kids Learning Over Summer

Summer Learning

One of the biggest summer challenges parents face is how to make sure their children don’t forget everything they’ve learned during the school year.  According to the National Summer Learning Association, most students lose two months of grade level equivalency in math over the summer.  It’s not just math, studies have also found students can slip in reading as well.  But this can be easily prevented.  There are many simple, everyday things you can do to help your children retain knowledge.  It doesn’t require summer school, but rather taking everyday activities and looking at them differently.  Healthy Kids Today has compiled a list of ways to make sure your children’s brains stay in tip-top shape this summer.

 

  • Help your children develop a green thumb – Plant a garden together over the summer and watch the plants blossom.  Gardening is a great way to stay active and stimulate your brain.  Teach your children about proper plant nutrition, including how often to water, the types of soil to use and how to prune.
  • Volunteer – Have your children become a reading buddy at a local library or volunteer at a soup kitchen for the day.  You could even take the family dog to visit patients at an older adult care facility.  Doing for others has a positive impact on the “doer” as well as the recipient
  • Become a writer – Do your children have a passion for an activity, hobby or subject?  Encourage them to write it all down!  They can create a fictional story or just document what they love.  You can help them create their own blogs using sites like Tumblr and let their creativity go wild.
  • Play brain games – Do crossword puzzles, word scrambles or play Sudoku with your kids.  These simple games will help with their reading, math and spelling skills.  They are fun and great for family time!
  • Let your kids be your accountants – The next time you pay your bills, let your kids add them up for you.  If you are going on vacation, let them keep track of your receipts so you know how much you are spending.  Using math skills in this way will help them retain the information they need for the start of the school year.  It can also help them learn to budget.

Grilled Shrimp Teriyaki Kebabs

[gmc_recipe 2587]

Get Your Kids Active For Summer!

Active ParentsIt is important that your kids are getting their daily dose of exercise.  Experts recommend that children get at least 60 minutes (1 hour) of exercise each day.  That can be hard when kids are glued to video games, their phones and their computers. Healthy Kids Today has compiled a list of ways to get your kids motivated, off the couch and having fun outside.  If you like one of our tips let us know on our Facebook or on Twitter at @HealthyKids2Day.

 

  • Lead By Example – If you are sitting on your butt, so will your kids.  They look to you as the example they should be following.  If after dinner you normally watch TV, suggest a family bike ride, game of catch or take the entire family on a long dog walk.
  • Let Your Kids Choose – Not everyone likes the same types of activities.  If you have multiple children, let each choose an activity for the day.  Your nature lover might choose a hike in a park, the adventurer might choose to go to a rock climbing gym or your sports enthusiast might choose a family soccer game.  Letting your children choose what they want to do will make it easier for them to get excited about being active.
  • Have Toys Handy – Children are more inclined to play outside if there are toys for them to play with.  Keep a basketball, soccer ball, jump rope or Frisbee in the house.  By having these items, you are enabling your children to have an activity to participate in, rather then just saying, “go play outside” with nothing for them to do.
  • Limit Screen Time – Limit the amount of time your children are allowed to sit in front of a screen.  Watching TV or playing video games on consoles, cell phones, computers or tablets are all sedentary activities.  A lac of exercise from these sedentary activities can lead to health problems.  By limiting the amount of time you allow your children to do these things and encouraging them to be active outside, you’ll ensure they stay healthy and fit.

Scallop and Asparagus Alfredo

[gmc_recipe 2536]

Help Our Kids Make Friends Over The Summer

Making Friends – Tips from your CHILL Counselor from WPHF on Vimeo.

 

Summer is fast approaching.  Making new friends is an important part of summer time.  CHILL Counselor Kaiya Shannon at Brookshire Elementary gives tips on ways to help our children make friends.  For more videos please check out our Vimeo or YouTube channels.  If you would like to be featured in a video, or have an idea for a video topic, please contact Asher Levine by email at alevine@wphf.org or by phone at 407.644.2300 ext. 241.

 

 

The information provided on this healthykidstoday.org website, and in other data sources to which it refers, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Such information is not a substitute for professional care. If you or someone you are caring for have or suspect you have a health problem, and/or wish to commence or modify any health care treatment, you should consult your own health care provider.

Aloma Elementary Principal In The Park Press

Aloma pictureThe Park Press recently interviewed Principal Dr. Drew Hawkins from Aloma Elementary.  He talked about the end of this school year and what to look forward to at the beginning of next year.  Below is an excerpt taken from the article.

“Our final SAC meeting for the 2012-2013 school year will be on Tuesday, May 7 at 8:00 a.m.  We would like to thank our current SAC members for serving and appreciate their help through the year.  Potential vacancies for our SAC membership are announced in August, followed by the election of SAC members in September.  If you are interested in serving on SAC we would love to have your support.  Please keep this in mind as we look forward in planning for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, and let us know if you would like to serve on the committee.

PTA will be hosting the following events during May: Book Fair from May 3-10; Mother’s Day Cakes on May 9 and May 10; Family Night at Barducci’s at the corner of University and Goldenrod on May 15 from 5:00-9:00 p.m; and Donuts for Dads on May 31 from 8:00-8:35 a.m.  PTA will also hold a general meeting on May 9 at 6:00 p.m. prior to the musical program to elect the new board members for the 2013-2014 school year.  We would like to thank the current board for all of their hard work this year for our students, staff, and school.”

Read the full article here.

Shop Smart for Fruits and Veggies

HealthyWP0301Eating healthy is easy even if you’re on a budget.  You just need to shop smart.  There are many low-cost ways to get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies.   ChooseMyPlate.gov has put together a great list of tips.  We’ve picked our 3 favorites, but for the entire list click here.

  • Celebrate The Season – Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season.  They are easy to get, have more flavor and are usually less expensive.  Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce. 
  • Keep It Simple – Buy veggies and fruits in their simplest form.  Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat and processed foods are convenient but are often much more expensive then their basic forms.
  • Plant Your Own – Start a garden – in your yard or in pots on your deck – for fresh, inexpensive and flavorful additions to meals.  Herbs, cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes are good options for beginners.
    • Visit Our Whole Community for locations on local community gardens and for information on how to start your own garden. 

Cheney Elementary’s School Garden is Growing Strong

Cheney School Garden

Students at Cheney Elementary are sprouting green thumbs along with a robust crop of tomatoes, onions and yellow peppers thanks to their new school garden.

The garden was started by Cheney’s Healthy School Team and is sponsored by Cheney’s School-Based Health Center (a Central Florida Family Health Center location) along with the Winter Park Health Foundation.  The garden was created in February and has become both a learning tool and fun activity for the students.

Gardening responsibilities are shared throughout the school.   It is loved and tended to by many students — from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade — as well as by staff from the school and the School-Based Health Center.    Students and staff planted a wide variety plants including tomatoes, onions, turnips, green and yellow peppers, sunflowers and milkweed.  The milkweed plants are especially popular because they attract Monarch butterflies.

Aside from teaching the students how to grow plants, the garden is also a useful tool in other areas as well.  The School-Based Health Center uses the garden to teach children about healthy eating and which foods are nutritious.  The garden allows children to have fun with these lessons.  Many teachers are also incorporating the garden into their lesson plans.

Cheney’s school garden is growing fast and becoming a favorite activity and learning tool for both students and teachers.  For more information on Cheney’s school garden, contact the school’s secretary at 407-672-3120.

 

Cheney School Garden 4Cheney School Garden 3 Cheney School Garden 2

Parents – Get Active!

Active ParentsIt is important for parents to encourage their children to be active, and the best way to inspire this behavior is to lead by example.

Being active is important for the mind and the body.  Physical activity is linked to a healthy heart, maintaining a healthy body weight, preventing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as sustaining proper emotional health and keeping people in a positive mood.  But many adults have trouble finding the time and motivation to fit in the proper amount of physical activity.  Experts agree that an adult should be active for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. ChooseMyPlate.gov offers these ideas to help get you started:

  1. Start activities slowly and build up over time.  If you are just starting physical activity, build up slowly. This will help prevent injuries. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
    1. Make active choices throughout the day. Every little bit of activity can add up, and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work to get in a little more walking.
    2. Use the buddy system.  Activities with friends or family are more enjoyable than doing them alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your buddies will encourage you to keep being active.
    3. Be active your way. Mix it up – there are endless ways to be active.  They include walking, biking, dancing, martial arts, gardening and playing ball.  Try out different activities to see what you like best and to add variety.
    4. Have fun!  Physical activity shouldn’t be a chore.  It can help you feel better about yourself and the way you live your life.  Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle.

 

Click here to see the full list.