Playgrounds provide more to our young children than just a place to run and play. The benefits of playgrounds for children ages 2-5 target emotional, social, physical, and cognitive develop. That’s right! Playing on a playground increases brain development. It was once said by Mr. Rogers that, “Play is real learning.”
Below are some highlights of the benefits of playground structures:
Don’t live near a playground? Have no concerns. Keep those kids active in the yard, at a nearby park or by limited screen time when at home. There is plenty one can do inside the home provided there is a safe space. Remember that the suggested minimum guideline is 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Healthy, active kids make better learners!
It’s that time of year again when many people at least think about making some changes in their lives. That’s good news if you make a resolution and even better if you keep it! But, I just heard a message that only about half of the people in the world actually make a resolution and the average length for keeping it is 8 days. That’s not very encouraging but I’m still going to offer some easy ideas for you to consider as your “Professional” 2015 Resolution! Choose one and once you complete it, add another one to your list!
See, those aren’t that hard and I’m sure if you make it a priority that you can meet one of these “Professional New Year’s Resolutions”!
Did you know that Skillastics® offers an activity kit for pre-school and kindergarten aged students? This Skillastics® activity kit is called Halfpint. Halfpint Skillastics® allows children to work on number, color and shape recognition while being physically active! Do you think that’s great? Well how about if I told you that Halfpint also comes with a musical CD, that has slow and fast pace music, to match everyone one of the activities the children perform? This music CD allows children to learn how to move to different paces of music! Are you asking how can it get any better? This kit is also available in English/Spanish. Halfpint Skillastics® is the ultimate activity kit to bring your preschool and Kindergarteners to the next level!
For more information about Halfpint Skillastics®, please click on the link below:
Handling The Press
Trying to break a full-court press can be very frustrating. So many games are lost because a team is unable to break a press. I’ve seen a number of teams panic when opponent sets up the press. Here are things you can do as an individual and a team to gain confidence to break a press.
As the lazy days of summer are here, and your creative juices are being rejuvenated, take some time to really learn about the “Let’s Move in School” initiative. I encourage you to focus on one component of CSPA (Comprehensive School Physical Activity) and plan a few activities for the next school year that fit with your school environment. The components are:
If you go to this web site, www.LetsMoveinSchool.org and click on the “comprehensive school physical activity program” hot link, it will take you to a page where you can look for ideas and resources that will help you plan your school activities.
Since the goal of the “Let’s Move in School” initiative is to help students be physically activity for 60 minutes each day, the Skillastics® activity kits are a great resource and strategy to include in your plan. Whether you use the activity kits in your physical education class or in a before/after school program, create a plan for classroom teachers to use the mini mats with their students, or introduce a group of adults to the fun, Skillastics® is a great way to get everyone moving!
Summer Family Fitness Series
We continue our series on fun, quick fitness activities parents can do with their children. Engaging in these activities 3-4 times a week for 15 minutes a day is a great addition to the required 60 minutes of fitness needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are the next three activities;
Mirror Drills – The next three activities are drills allow each person to be a leader and a follower. After a few moments you switch the responsibilities.
1) Monkey Dance – Decide who will be the leader first. Partners start in the standing position facing each other. The leader starts by touching his/her right elbow with the left knee as the knee is lifted toward the right elbow The follower mirrors or copies the leader’s movements. The leader then changes to touching the left elbow to the right knee. as the follower copies the leader’s movements. The object of this drill is for the leader to speed up and slow down their movements in order to challenge the follower.. After 30 to 60 seconds, switch responsibilities (i.e. the first leader now becomes the follower). This develops balance and coordination, and strengthens the hip flexors, gluteus, trapezius (upper back) pectorals (chest) muscles groups.
2) Jog In Place – Start in the standing position facing each other. The leader starts by slowly jogging in place with the follower keeping up with the pace. The object of this drill is for the leader to speed up and slow down their movements in order to challenge the follower to keep up with the leader. Jog for one minute and then switch responsibilities. This develops cardiovascular endurance, as well as gluteus, quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups.
3) Reach Drill – Start in the standing position facing each other. The leader starts by extending his/her both arms in any direction (i.e. over head, toward feet, out to the side, out in front). The object of this drill is for the follower to mirror these movements. After one minute switch responsibilities and repeat. This drill develops scapula, pectoral and abdominal muscle groups.
If you are interested in purchasing Skillastics® as well as additional equipment for your program, but are in need of funding – we can help!
We are excited to introduce two grant writer resources! These individuals have been very successful at securing grants for their clients. Contact either one of them directly and get the process started! The resources are;
Grant Resources Of Wisconsin (Now offering assistance throughout the country)
(GROW) has been providing grant-seeking, program development, grant-writing, and evaluation services to Wisconsin school districts, municipalities, and non-profit organizations for the past 15 years. Their team of writers and evaluators has worked on a wide variety of state, federal, corporate, and foundation grant programs, with a success rate of over 60%. For example, over the past 8 years, eligible Wisconsin applicants have obtained nearly 100 Federal Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant awards. The GROW office has written nearly half of those successful awards for applicants all across the State of Wisconsin. Fee arrangements are flexible, ranging from hourly rates to nominal up-front charges with award-contingent fees, and are based on the complexity and viability of targeted grant programs and the nature of the services requested. For further information, contact:
Kevin DeCramer, Coordinator
GROW (Grant Resources Of Wisconsin)
104 S. Main St., Rm. 320
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Ph: (920) 906-3747
Fax: (920) 906-3750
Nancy L. Matthews, M.A., CPRP
Nancy has more than 20 years experience developing and managing “Quality of Life” programs and services which serve the community: eleven years in municipal government, seven years as an independent consultant, six years in higher education, and five years in student services. She is currently consulting for a variety of organizations including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and colleges in the areas of grant writing, staff training, legislative advocacy and program development. She is also a member of the faculty at California State University Long Beach.
Nancy received degrees from Scripps College in Psychology and Women’s Studies (B.A.), and U.C.L.A. in Higher Education Administration (M.A.) and remains connected to both institutions. She also serves on the State Legislative Committee for California Park and Recreation Society as well as over 10 other Boards and committees. Nancy values diversity and inclusion as well as service to the community. She is characterized as “energetic”, “organized” and “service-oriented”.
Grant Proposals Awarded (highlights)
NLM Consulting Services
352 North Alta Vista Avenue
Monrovia, CA 91016
FAX 626 301-9609
It’s that time of year when most of us start thinking about summer vacation. I learned a very valuable lesson from one of my Principals relating to the importance of ending the year on a positive note with students. Her belief was, if they left for the summer having had a great end of the year experience, they would be more excited to return when school started again in the fall. So, our school started the tradition of spending most of the last day of school doing all sorts of outdoor activities. It was a ton of work but it was a great day for students and teachers alike!
Even though you may not want to plan an all school event, I encourage you to think about what you might do differently during those last couple of weeks of physical education classes to make sure your students are not only excited about coming back to school in the fall, but also are excited about staying active over the summer. The list is endless but here are a few ideas to get you started!
I realize the end of the year offers unique challenges but I encourage you to do a few different and unique activities with your students. Make sure the goals of your lessons include having fun and promoting a summer of staying active!
View the Let’s Move in School Video and see what the excitement is all about!
Santa Clara County of Education recently purchased over 100 Halfpint Bilingual Skillastics®®/Music CD Package for every Head Start program in the county.