Tag Archives: physical activity

Resources from the American Heart Association

heartThis year’s summer reading theme is health, wellness, fitness, and sports. The American Heart Association has a number of resources to help support active programs at your library. If your local school participates in Jump Rope for Heart, you may already be familiar with some of these resources.

You may have heard of the NFL Play 60 Challenge. If you are interested in hosting a challenge at the library, you can use the teacher guide to help you get started. Even if you don’t host a Challenge, there are plenty of ideas for activities you could use on their own.

Depending on the age group you are working with, there are lesson plans for both elementary and middle school age students. You can also find guides for jump rope skills, basketball skills, and ideas for Heart Smart stations.

For food oriented programs, you can register to receive School Garden Lesson Plans. The guide includes 35 lesson plans about healthy eating. The best part is you can do the activities in the guide even if you don’t have a garden!

What are you doing to encourage your kids to be heart healthy during the summer reading program this year? Share your ideas in the comments!

Movement in Story Time

EL Chld MomDhtr ReadWith this year’s summer reading theme being health, wellness, fitness, and sports, now is the ideal time to incorporate movement activities to your weekly story times as well. Kids are not designed to sit still for long periods of time anyway, so why not use that to your advantage during story time?

In their publication, Young Children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has an article called “Moving Bodies, Building Minds: Foster Preschoolers’ Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Through Movement” by Michelle L. Marigliano and Michele J. Russo. The authors state that “linking movement experiences with language—both receptive language (understanding that of others) and expressive language (sharing one’s own thoughts and ideas)—builds children’s thinking skills.” The article features suggested prompts to encourage movement, along with ideas for using dance standards. Scroll to the end of the article to find a box highlighting children’s picture books that feature movement.

For more ideas on books you can use during story time, check out Book to Boogie, a monthly blog series from The Library as Incubator Project which “pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time.”

Over at the Programming Librarian, Jenn Carson has a blog post on Storytime Stretching in which she recommends “adding some yoga poses or movement exercises to your storytime programs, if only to help get those wiggles out!” The article provides helps tips on movement activities for young children, and her website, Yoga in the Library, has a number of great resources for all ages, including sample program outlines.

How do you incorporate movement in your story times? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Resources for a Healthy Summer Reading Program

Chld Canoe copyAs you plan programs to get kids moving at the library for this summer’s reading theme of health,  fitness, wellness, and sports, here are some resources you can use to help kids make healthy life choices:

  • Eat Play Grow – Eat Play Grow is an “early childhood health curriculum” designed “to teach children ages 6 and younger and their adult caregivers how to make healthy nutrition and physical activity choices.”
  • USDA Summer Food Service Program – The SFSP “ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.” With programs for children already taking place, the library is an ideal feeding site.
  • Healthy Habits for Life – This toolkit from Sesame Street helps you “help channel [children’s] natural energy into activities that keep them fit and strong.” “We Have the Moves” is a particularly useful section for library programming.

How are you encouraging a healthy lifestyle at the library this summer? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Activity Ideas to Get Kids Moving at the Library

Child Boy Read copyReading is a beneficial, but sedentary, activity. As librarians, we are all about encouraging kids to read more. Developing your mind is crucial, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your body. It’s not enough just to read about physical activity. If you need activities to get your little bookworms moving, check out some of these ideas:

When it’s time to take a break from reading, what’s your favorite way to get moving?

Move to Learn

movetolearnMove to Learn is an organization based on the concept that “the more exercise a student gets, the better his or her grades are likely to be,” as well as the fact that “more fitness was associated with better behavior and less absenteeism.” Libraries may not be school classrooms, but libraries are all about learning, and library programs can help kids be more active. With the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports, now is the perfect time to start planning library programs that encourage an active lifestyle.

Move to Learn offers downloadable materials to help you plan programs:

The videos are organized by age groups from PreK to 6th grade. Lesson plans can be searched by subject area, grade level, duration of lesson, materials available, or keyword. Subject areas include Health and Physical Education; Science, Technology, and Math; History and Language; as well as Visual and Performing Arts. The songs, videos, and shorter activities would work well for story times too.

How do you get kids moving in your library programs? Share your ideas in the comments!

Growing Up Healthy

Chld Bikes copyNemours is a nonprofit children’s health organization, committed to improving the health of children. They have a wealth of information about healthy living that is perfect for the 2016 summer reading theme of health, fitness, wellness, and sports.

The Growing Up Healthy section has resources for five areas:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Screen Time
  • Sleep Routines
  • Emotional Wellness

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