Blog Archive

The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep: Try these 6 tips for helping kids get the proper amount of sleep. By Michael Rhattigan on September 05, 2014 Over the summer, many children change their sleeping patterns. They're often up later at night, sleep in during the day, or take naps in the afternoon. The return of school can present challenges for kids and parents alike.Does this really matter?More and more research illustrates the importance of sleep for children's health, academic performance, and behavior. Signs of sleep-related problems may show up in a number of ways with kids, including daytime sleepiness, inattention, poor concentration, moodiness, behavioral problems, irregular social skills, and poor academic performance.  Focusing solely on academic performance, a number of recent studies around the world found that higher performing kids average more sleep per night and earlier bedtimes than their poorer performing peers.How can we help our kids...
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Kids Need Physical Activity

Originally published by Scholastic Parents: The Learning ToolkitKids Need Physical Activity - Here are some ideas for what parents can do to increase children's physical activity.By Michael Rhattigan on August 8, 2014 The majority of parents understand that children need physical activity. We inherently know this from real-world experience with kids. Teachers often cite specific reasons, such as:●    Improved behavior (less "excess energy," fewer fights)●    Improved learning (more attentive in class, better retention of material)●    Healthier kids  Countless medical studies in the U.S. and around the world corroborate these beliefs that physical activity can improve behavior and learning for kids.Yet despite the overwhelming evidence of children's need for physical activity, activity levels have declined dramatically. Historically, schools were one primary source of daily activity for kids....
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The Smells of August

The smells of crayons, freshly sharpened pencils, and the rainbow of colored paper thrill me.  Yes, I smell the supplies.  I love staring at pencils, all kinds of pencils.  The thought of having colored paper at my disposal gives me goose bumps.  The random thoughts of collecting all sorts of schools supplies gets me giddy.  I enjoy strategizing what I’m going to buy and how I am going to manage traveling to a variety of stores to get the best sales.  It’s not like I need to purchase the supplies, but having them handy in case a student doesn’t, gives me some sort of satisfaction, or maybe it’s gratification.  I don’t know.But, then summer rolls around and every teacher in the world is screaming, “YIPPEE!” because after a whirlwind of a school year, we look forward to the summer.  Summer is the time when every other person in the world assumes that teachers are sitting around twiddling our thumbs, taking...
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Simple Summer Pleasures

Summer is here and many parents are working hard to try and keep their kids busy. Kids are so different in their need for entertainment and stimulation that finding the right activity for each kid is key to enjoying summer days and nights.  As parents, we all dread that painful “this is boring” or “I’m bored” comment that our kids often utter when they are not enjoying one of our “great” ideas! Photo credit: Eduplace.comI, myself, have two children that are so naturally different - I couldn’t have hand-picked them to be any more different even if I had tried!  My son was always easy to entertain: one quick trip to the bookstore and he would spend days and days buried in the books we bought.  My daughter, on the other hand, is the queen of the “I’m bored” statement!  So there is always a lot more effort required to keep her happy and busy during these loooong summer days!I thought it would be...
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What are Teachers saying about Adventure to Fitness?

"Adventure to Fitness is a great physical education program that reaches across the curriculum. It is a fun and creative way to get students active without having to leave the classroom! They are about 30 minute videos that take kids on adventures around the world and through different terrains and time periods. The goal is to keep students moving the whole time while simultaneously learning nutrition facts! I participated in Adventure to Fitness and had so much fun with my students and got great feedback from the parents and would love to continue this program in my classroom!" - Ms. Bouska, 2nd Grade Teacher, CA"I love Adventure to Fitness because it gives my students a much needed brain break in between ELA and Math in a structured and healthy way. They love it because the videos are fun and engaging. Students don't even realize they're learning and working on their fitness as well." - Ms. Sullivan, 4th Grade Teacher, NYC"Adventure to...
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Expert Reviews

Below is a quick snapshot of some of the expert reviews we've received from professionals in the Healthcare industry.  We welcome you to share your insight with us as well! "This programme is an invaluable resource to any school. It is a fun and engaging programme that is inclusive to all abilities. The interactive game aspect to it attracts all children, even those who may try and 'opt out' of routine sports. Participation in regular activity has physical, psychological and social benefits. It helps keep children fitter and stronger, improves balance and co-ordination, encourages a healthy lifestyle and helps them to control their weight. Regular exercise has been shown to boost concentration levels in school children and is known to improve self- esteem, self- confidence, reduce stress levels and promote better sleep patterns. As a Paediatric physiotherapist we are seeing more and more children who are leading...
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The Importance of Positive Role Models in our Children's Lives

Late last week, we received a fantastic email from one of our Adventure to Fitness parents. As I was reading the email, it got me thinking about the importance of role models in our children’s lives.As parents or caregivers, we all want our children to look up to appropriate and positive role models.  This can prove to be a difficult task with today’s glorification of certain negative public figures (that shall remain nameless) in the media.  It is impossible to shield our children from the multitude of media outlets that exist that may or may not reward questionable behavior of celebrities with constant attention and coverage and still live regular lives. Just try listening to the radio, watching evening TV, or surfing the internet with your kids without cringing on occasion over the content.We know that children often emulate the behavior they see and admire.  We remember from our own childhood looking up to certain people:  teachers, TV characters,...
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Keeping Active While Weathering the Weather

Weather, weather, and more weather!  “Whether” it is extreme cold, snow, sleet, ice, wind, or rain (or some combination of it all) lately most of the country is living with the inconvenience of long-term extreme weather.As parents, we take extra precautions to bundle up our little ones to keep them safe from the weather to and from school.  I live in central Texas, which means I am lucky enough not to deal with too much snow or subzero temperatures.  However, these past few months have been a shock to our systems.  We have experienced several days of icy roads with 20-degree lows and 30-degree highs - which are a rarity of us.  These unusually cold days have been followed with days of 40-degree lows and 85-degree highs – that is a 45-degree swing in the same day! Needless to say, many mornings I have found myself struggling to ensure that my kids have grabbed the correct jacket and are prepared for the day’s weather.Photo credit:...
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Midday slump? Here are five ways to beat it (as told by cute animals).

Photo Credit: Jason A. Samfield via Compfight ccDid you think that only adults with busy jobs and lives to attend to feel the slow creep of exhaustion between noon and 2pm? Think again.Kids experience that oh-so-desirable phenomenon known as the “midday slump” too. It’s pretty much the driving force behind every energy drink out there.Well, energy drinks are full of sugar, caffeine, and chemicals that have not been studied thoroughly enough to know whether they’re safe for children, or anyone for that matter. They aren’t acceptable substitutes for real energy. Plus, if you help kids follow these five tips, they’ll not only feel more energized, they’ll also be healthier and happier overall.1. Stretch It OutPhoto Credit: -Porsupah- via Compfight ccKids spend upwards of seven to eight hours per day sitting at desks. Next time you have a back-to-school night, try to actually sit at one of those desks. Yes, with your legs under it, all cramped in...
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5 Winter Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy

When winter weather drops the icy curtain on us, comfort food is like a bright star in the darkness. Snuggling up with our favorite stack of movies and some hearty, saucy, doughy, or zesty meals is as American as apple pie. Come to think of it, maybe our love of comfort food is where that saying comes from in the first place!But not all comfort foods are created equal, and many are loaded with cholesterol, saturated fat, sugar, and salt - not exactly the perfect fuel for a long, harsh winter. If you’re not paying attention to recipes it’s easy to end up serving food you never realized was so bad for you.But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your family suffering through bland meals all winter! With some simple changes, your family’s favorite comfort food recipes can be made healthy, or at least acceptable. To help out, we’ve picked some of our favorites and put a healthy spin on them.1. Macaroni and CheeseIt’s loved by children and adults...
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