Awaken Summer Imagination at the Y
It seems the age-old question still stumps many parents this time of year: “What am I going to do with the kids this summer?” Turns out, the answer is more important than you may think. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows without access to out-of-school activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast.
As spring turns to summer, the Tampa YMCA wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer. In addition to offering an enhanced summer camp curriculum to keep kids active in spirit, mind and body, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:
* 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. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
* Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! 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 kids to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
* Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
* 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.
It just so happens that the Y Summer Camp Experience incorporates all of these healthy habits in their camp programs: healthy meals, reading, physical activity and coming home so worn out from all the fun adventures that a good’s night rest is never a problem!
We encourage parent to continue these healthy habits all summer long by sending their kids to Y Summer Camp which offers a welcoming environment where campers can build relationships, develop character and discover their potential. We believe everyone deserves the chance to go to camp and scholarships are available to qualified families, giving all kids access to learning new skills, developing character and making new friends. Spots are filling fast so check out our new Summer Camp Information Station and register today!
Pictured Above: The Tampa Y is excited to offer a whole new camp experience this year, where campers will explore a variety of activities, like archery, as they rotate through different Activity Central stations.