Keeping kids active
Children at Gowrie School have lots of play plans for the summer
Did you notice that there are a lot of media ads on the topic of physical activity for children ... or rather a lack of it?
There's the ad where the blackout screen keeps getting larger until it eliminates the amount of time that children play outside. Then there's another ad where the little boy knocks on another youngster's door and says: “Wanna play.”
To many of us, getting enough physical activity for our children seems so simple. Not so.
The annual report card on physical activity for youth and children has results that should raise red flags for all of us. Canadian children have been given a D minus for overall physical activity. This is a very distressing statistic.
To look at just one age category, only seven per cent of our five to 11-year-old children met the recommended guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity daily. That means that 93 per cent of our youngsters are not getting enough physical activity.
This doesn't bode well for their future health outcomes.
In what category does your child or grandchild fit?
Summer means that children have more time on their hands so it provides the perfect opportunity for children to get outside and become more phys- ically active.
On one of the last days in June, I visited Gowrie School in Port Morien. My three children were educated in this small rural school so I have many fond memories of young children starting their educational journey at this facility.
The Grade Primary-1-2 students in Jasmin Collins class were looking forward to the summer holidays and the freedom of not being in school.
So my question to these young students was quite simple ... “How are you going to be physically active over the summer?”
Alexander Thomas is going to have fun at the beach. Port Morien has two sandy beaches so that should be easy. He also enjoys riding his bike and having races with his friends.
Carter Wadden loves skateboarding as well as camping with his family. His grandfather, Bobby Wadden, has a pool that the neighbourhood children enjoy. His older sister, Alyssa, is part of the gang at her grandfather's pool. She enjoys riding her bike and running with her mother. Alyssa spends time playing with her cat, Mittens.
Violet Cunningham's family is planning a P.E.I. vacation to enjoy the sandy beaches and the water parks. Her brother, Kaedyn, wants to play dodgeball and hockey as well as hide and seek with his friends.
Anna MacIntosh is going camping with her family so she can play games with the other children and swim every day. Her younger sister, Sara, will be playing with her friends outside as well as swimming and hiking with her parents.
Kalen Spencer especially enjoys going to the beach on a rainy day. Jumping high on his trampoline is also part of Kalen's summer plans.
Kerri McNeil enjoys going on long walks with her mother and when the weather is sunny, she wants to go swimming. Her sis- ter, Olivia, wants to spend time playing with her dog and loves to ride her bike.
Isabella Murrant will be part of the gang at Bobby Wadden's pool. Sounds like fun.
Averie Nicholson enjoys the water both at the beach and the pool (Bobby Wadden's, of course). Playing tag with her friends is also a popular activity.
Claire Pemberton is looking forward to playing hopscotch and skipping with her cousins. It's so good to see that children still enjoy old-fashioned play. Claire has a new bike that she will put to good use. Claire's brother, Sidney, will be hiking with his father, when he is not busy running, swimming or playing baseball.
This summer, Rachel Hopkins will be playing soccer and swimming at the beach. She likes playing outside in the fresh air. Nathaniel MacInnis wants to master the skill of swimming with a snorkel. Cruz Bussey is looking forward to swimming at the water park. Matthew Snow will be found riding his bike when he is not swimming.
These young students are sure to come back to school in September full of energy and ready to learn.
But let's not use the word “school” over the summer. Not unless you want to be looking at a cranky face.
Just let them have fun.
The Grade Primary-1-2 students at Gowrie School have plans for a busy summer. Left to right, front row, Averie Nicholson, Kaylen Spencer, Kerri McNeil, Sara MacIntosh, Belle Murrant, Sidney Pemberton, Cruz Bussy; middle row, Carter Wadden, Olivia McNeil, Matthew Snow, Nathaniel MacInnis, Alexander Thomas, Violet Cunningham; back row, Anna MacIntosh, Kaedyn Cunningham, Alyssa Wadden, Rachel Hopkins, Claire Pemberton. Also in the class is Grade 1 student Olivia Anderson.