Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kids not as healthy as parents think

The title of this post is the same title of an article in the USA Today on April 13th. The article went on to quote survey results from the YMCA's Family Health Snapshot. When parents were asked if they were providing a healthy home environment for their families, 9 out of 10 parents responded a resounding yes. As the survey dug deeper with more specific questions they found that was not the case.

Health guidelines state that children should have a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 79% of parents admitted that their kids do not get 60 minutes of physical activity per day and only 14% said their kids eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 62% of parents stated that their kids eat junk food one to four times per week.

What were some of the obstacles parents felt they faced in making a healthy home environment? Technology - social networks, TVs, cell phones, video games and computers. This is a new age for parents. They were not sitting in front of computers after school when they were children and sometimes they have a difficult time in breaking the cycle for their kids. There are ways to break the cycle though. I realize parents are tired when they come home from a full day at work and kids have lots of homework that need to be completed but health has to be a priority.

After dinner, go for a walk or play ball in the backyard. Summer is coming so try to get outside with the kids. If they want non school related time on the computer, set up a program for them to earn that time. For every 30 minutes of physical activity they can have 15 minutes of computer or TV time. There is no reason to let our kids health decline into obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Take a stand for your kids! Let your kids see you making great health choices. Eat your vegetables and fruits, go for walks, dance around the house. Make great choices for yourself and your kids will follow.

Kids Matter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Teachings - Earth Science Lessons

Here are some great lessons for teaching Earth Science to young children. As we know, science in many programs can be lacking in material. Here are some ways to teach kids about their surrounding environments.

Preschool is a great time to begin science activities. The way to keep a preschooler interested is to make everything hands on and fun. Would you rather hear someone tell you about volcanoes and show you pictures or would you rather get some play dough, vinegar and baking soda and make your own volcano?

The Exploratorium has a great listing of books to check out from your local library. They are broke down by subject including: Nature, Dirt, Geology and Gardening.

Science for Preschoolers has some great Water and Air Quality activities listed on their site.

The Green Fish Chronicles has some great activities to do to study Air.

Tiny Planets has some great science activity included introducing kids to using a compass.

Science - Experiments has some great ideas to do with your preschoolers that includes Earth Science.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Meanderings - Earth Day

Earth Day 2011 is the 41st anniversary of Earth day. Way back in 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin watched closely at the state of the coast in Santa Barbara California due to the massive oil spill in 1969. As he watched the damage caused by this oil spill he was inspired to take action. At the time, no one was really concerned with the environment and green was just a color, not a movement. He used the students that were protesting the war to mobilize 20 million people to take to the streets, parks and auditoriums. 20 million people came together to form coast to coast rallies to raise awareness of the detiorating environment of the planet. With the rallies, political parties worked together to form the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

In 1990, environmental leaders appealed to Denis Hayes (Earth Day 1970's National Coordinator) to organize another large event. This time there was a global initiative bringing together 200 million people in 141 countries to bring light to the environment. This is when green became much more than just a color. Recycling took off with all lines of people and the ground work was set to begin the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio De Janiero in 1992. President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Senator Nelson in 1995 for his act in founding Earth Day.

First we have The STEM Blog with a great listing of activities for classrooms to do in celebration of Earth Day.

NASA has a great form that talks about scale models of the Earth and Moon using play dough. All you need is a 3 lb. tub of play dough and an inquisitive nature.

No Time for Flash Cards has a great activity that they did with kids using blue and green play doh to make a model of the planet Earth.

Almost Unschoolers did a great experiment to find out about oil spills and how they use dish washing liquid to clean off the birds and other animals affected by the oil.

Be sure to get out there and do something with the kids to show them that Green is important.