3 tips for keeping kids active over March Break
Whether you’re on a family trip or enjoying a “staycation” most parents have great intentions of keeping kids active over the March Break. Are you revved up with plans and ideas, or needing some help to find your inner camp counselor? We’ve got ideas to help parents continue to build healthy brains while on holiday.
Less apps, more mess
A child’s brain is hardwired for sensory input, particularly children aged 5 and under. Think about a typical preschool and kindergarten and you’ll recall few screens and lots of sensory play. Children learn through sensory input – which is why printing is taught first with paints and colouring and sandpaper letters before small hands even grab a pencil. At home, this means less apps and more mess. Decreased screen time ensures that children are building healthy brains through relationship (connection is the very best teacher) and mess. Scared of a messy house? It’s something we hear more and more from parents at the clinic – we’ve got you covered. If you’re away this March Break, get outside and let kids dig and build roll around with water, sand or snow.
Active core for active kids
Core work continues to be at the centre (get it?) of so much of our work at the clinic. Core weakness can affect hand writing, attention and focus, even potty training! Developing greater core strength through exercise and play has a very positive effect on development.
Brains at rest
Does rest seem contrary to the entire point of this blog post? Not when it comes to building healthy brains. Teachers and therapist alike notice time and again that most kids return from school breaks and make a huge developmental leaps. Experience and science shows that brains at rest are brains that synthesize and gel information. In today’s age, that means fewer activities (don’t get me started on the word ‘play date’) and more time in free play. Staring out the window does indeed help your child’s development and gives them a boost for the next school term.
Being active keeps kids healthy and building healthy brains and families is at the centre of what we do as pediatric Occupational Therapists. Subscribe to our blog – we’d love to continue to share what we know to help your family grow.