by Don Zabloski
For families with school-aged children, the start of another school year is a time where parents and caregivers may reflect on the steps they can take to enhance the well-being of their children. All family members are balancing school, work, home and community responsibilities while trying to nurture a healthy and happy family lifestyle. Modelling positive habits and empowering independent healthy choices can help build a natural, genuine ownership of one’s lifelong well-being.
To enhance your family’s continued learning, we have compiled a few timeless support resources for your consideration. Whether your family is just starting out on its active journey or is looking to enhance an already active lifestyle, we’re sure you’ll find a few tips and ideas to assist you in making it happen.
Running Room’s Book on Family Fitness, by John Stanton and Don Zabloski
Child’s Play–Rediscovering The Joy of Play in Our Families and Communities, by Silken Laumann
Last Child in The Woods–Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv
Active for Life – activeforlife.com
One of my personal favourites is the Active for Life website. It is tailored to families and provides tips to help kids of all ages develop skills and have fun through multi-sport activities and free play opportunities. Sports-minded families may want to check out the “Change It Up” campaign, a collaboration of the national sport organizations for hockey, soccer, basketball and baseball. Their message is that rather than specializing in one sport, a multi-sport approach is important for kids’ physical, social, and psychological skills. Watch their empowering 30-second video at playmoresports.ca.
ParticipACTION – participaction.com
This non-profit organization doesn’t encourage screen time—in fact, their home page says: “Welcome to our website. Just don’t stay too long.” The site is full of resources to help kids sit less and move more, particularly under the “Programs” tab, in the “Make Room for Play” section. You can also read about the “brain and body equation” in their 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
Physical and Health Education Canada – phecanada.ca
PHE Canada champions healthy, active kids by promoting and advancing quality health and physical education opportunities at school and at home. Their vision is “a future wherein all children and youth in Canada live healthy, physically active lives.” Click on the “Activate” tab to start navigating their list of resources.