Awaken Summer Imagination at Healthy Kids Day

News | Mary Anne Swanstrom | April 17, 2019

On Saturday, April 27, the Heart of the Valley YMCA is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. Many families join the Y for discounts on summer programs, so the Y is making membership more affordable by waiving join fees in April.

Healthy Kids Day
Saturday, April 27
9 a.m. to noon
Southeast Family YMCA, 1000 Weatherly Road SE, Huntsville 35803
Hogan Family YMCA, 130 Park Square Land, Madison, 35758

The Y grounds will be filled with dozens of children’s activities to encourage healthy, active play and stimulate the imagination including inflatable obstacle courses, make-and-take arts & crafts, photo booth, kids’ Zumba, hula hoop contest, bicycle checks, first responders, STEM and local vendors with giveaways.
Branches will have differing activities with more to be announced.

When children are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.

“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” says Sharon Allen, Director of Fitness and Corporate Wellness at Southeast Family YMCA. “We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. A child’s development is never on vacation, and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer.”

The Y offers the following tips to help families develop lasting, healthy habits this summer:
High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development.

Read Together – Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.

Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.

Play Together – Active play, especially outdoors, may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity.

Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.

For more information, call your branch or visit www.ymcahuntsville.org/events.

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