Active for Life is all about getting kids moving… in a way that will keep them moving for life! And in today’s world, we know how challenging it is to raise kids who like and want to move.
But don’t despair, there’s a recipe to help you raise kids who will like (if not love) to move. And as we know, when kids love doing something, they keep doing it!
A super healthy “smoothie” for kids
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The recipe to get kids moving is to serve them a daily dose of three ingredients: skills, confidence, and the love of movement. When you “blend” these three ingredients, they become a “super-smoothie” that kids can’t resist. We call this powerful recipe “physical literacy.”
Like all healthy food, the power of this blend comes from the goodness of its ingredients. Good ingredients make you healthy from the inside-out. Kale, for example, the superfood of the moment, is a “a nutrition superstar” because it’s full of vitamins A, B6, K, and C, and full of cancer-fighting ingredients.
And that’s what the three ingredients of physical literacy do to kids’ bodies and brains: it gets them healthy from the inside-out. But there’s more. Each one of the three ingredients amplifies the goodness of the other ingredients.
How physical literacy works inside your child’s body and brain
Imagine you’re sitting on the living room floor with your two-year-old. The child is watching you play with a foam ball. You smile and laugh as you throw the soft ball against the wall and catch it after it bounces back to you. Your child can’t take her eyes away from you.
And then you turn to your child and give them the spongy ball. The child smiles, looks up at you, and then throws the ball too. The ball flies sideways. You laugh, and so does your child.
With kind words and a warm smile, you praise your child’s effort (“Well done!”). You watch as the toddler fetches the ball and throws it and laughs again.
As your child throws the ball, magic is taking place in their young brain. As they watch the ball fly, your toddler’s brain engages, adapts, and makes new connections. As all of this brain activity is taking place, your child is developing the skill of throwing.
Magic also takes place when you react with kind and constructive words. Every time you recognize how hard your child is trying, or how much they are learning, your child’s confidence in their ability to throw a ball grows.
The best part of this simple game is the addictive joy that fills both your child and yourself. Joy leads your child to throw the ball, over and over. As they throw, they get better at it. Their confidence grows and they experience more pleasure, which leads them to throw the ball some more. In that moment, your child falls in love with throwing a ball.
Three healthy ingredients boosting each other’s goodness. It’s a perfect circle:
Read the next article in the series: The recipe to get kids moving—for life.