School Break

Keep your children active and healthy during

School Breaks

As you know, Empire Union School District students will be on a school break next week for Thanksgiving (November 22 – November 26) and during the upcoming Winter Break (December 20 – January 4).  While school breaks are potentially full of fun activities, due to weather young people often can spend hours inside and inactive, with video games, television, or friends.  Encouraging physical activities and good nutrition during the school breaks can help our children enjoy their well-deserved time off while staying on track in their physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and verbal development.  Kids who continue to practice academic skills over school breaks may be more successful learners from their earliest years, and they are more likely to read at grade level by the end of third grade. Here are some ideas for incorporating fun activities and nutrition for your children during our upcoming school break(s).

- Look for opportunities in your community that promote learning, physical activity, and healthy eating. Ask specific questions about the learning and physical activities, as well as food available throughout the day for your child.

- Before school breaks ask your child’s teacher or school for recommended activities that incorporate health with learning.

· Weather permitting, encourage your child to get outside and play. Ride a bike, join a pick-up sports game, or walk to your local library. Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.

- Be active with your child. Take a walk together, create a scavenger hunt in the community, or go to a local basketball court and shoot some hoops. Whatever activity you choose, it’s great to exercise and spend time together.

- Take advantage of local pools and recreation centers. Many communities have free or low-cost youth activities or programs at facilities such as pools, playgrounds, parks, sporting fields, and community centers. Ask your children’s teacher or contact your local government to obtain more information on what’s available for your child during the summer.

- Make reading a priority. Ask your child’s teacher or school librarian for a reading list. Join a reading program or group at your local library. Take a book with you when visiting family members or going on trips.  Set aside a specific time to read together.

- Keep healthy snacks around the house. Freeze some grapes or place a popsicle stick in the middle of a yogurt cup and make a frozen treat. String cheese and fresh fruit smoothies are also great snack options. Popcorn with cinnamon instead of butter and salt also makes a fun and healthy snack.

- Turn off the TV and the computer. According to a recent study by the YMCA of the USA, 50 percent of parents surveyed said technological distractions, such as cell phones and television, are a big barrier to getting their kids to engage in healthy behaviors. Encourage kids to turn off the gadgets and get engaged with friends and family.

- Give kids toys that encourage activity. Toys like basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes, or kites encourage children to be active.  Encouraging games that the family can play together, such as volleyball, Frisbee, or badminton, are a great way to get everyone moving and having fun.

· And most importantly  READ  -  READ  -  READ