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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 3)

wally_sports_comic3

Wally completes his tour of Seattle sports with a visit to the Mariners, where he hits a home run and helps win the game! Wally has enjoyed learning more about all of these sports teams and the hard work that goes into each sport. He also has realized how much he has enjoyed being part of a team and being active.

Even though Wally has to retire from professional sports, he still plans to spend lots of time outside this summer with his friends, playing and teaching them all the things he learned in football, soccer, and baseball!

He hopes the other kids will join and see how fun it is to play together outside, release energy, be creative, and spend time socializing with each other.

Until next time!

 

~The Incredible Years

 

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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 2)

wally_sports_comic2

In our previous post, Wally helped us see how fun it can be to get outside, enjoy some sports, and play with friends and family! Well, Wally decided to take a break from Football after he lost his ball in the tree, and try his hand (or should we say “foot”??) at soccer instead! Besides, he didn’t like wearing a football helmet and his mother insisted he must if he were to play this game.

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Wally didn’t like wearing the heavy football helmet, but Carolyn insisted he must.

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To prove her point, Carolyn put the helmet on also – to show Wally it’s not so bad. Then she realized Wally was right – it WAS really heavy! These two will have to stick to “non contact” sports, we think!

Does it seem like Wally is flip flopping a bit? Should he give up on football so easily? Should he be bouncing around to different sports, or stick to one and become really proficient at it? Maybe that sounds like a silly question, but it’s one that many parents have asked themselves. Where is the line between promoting your child’s perseverance, commitment, and ability to follow the rules, and letting him make his own decision to give up because it is hard work or he doesn’t like the rules?

Being child-directed, or child-led, is a really important way of letting your child explore his likes and dislikes. This allows your child to develop his or her own individuality and discover what activities are truly enjoyable. Of course, it’s good to promote perseverance – if something is difficult, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun. Striking the balance between encouraging your child to be persistent while still allowing them the freedom to explore options and do something else is key!

Through exploration and play, children will learn which activities are right for them. It might be a team sport such as soccer, football, golf, swimming, softball, rugby or basketball, or a more individual sport such as running, walking, gymnastics, learning to yoyo or joining the circus! (It happens!) The take away point should always be focused on physical and mental health and, particularly for children, having fun and spending time together as a family and with friends.


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Promoting Healthy Activity in Kids ~ Incredible Adventures of Wally: Sports Edition (Part 1)

wally_sports_comic1

Wally, like many young children, loves to play outdoors. In this series about promoting healthy activity in kids, we’ll follow Wally as he tries out for different sports, and also consider the benefits of exercise and outdoor play for children.

You may remember when Wally and the whole puppet gang decided to start exercising back in October (if not, refresh your memory by clicking here!).  We shared an article that showed how the Incredible Years programs had been linked to healthier outcomes and lower rates of obesity. You can read that article here. 

In Part 1 of this series, let’s consider some of the benefits of exercise, sports, and outdoor play for children. With summer on it’s way, this is a great time for families to start planning play time outside all together! Spending time playing together outside fosters family bonding and helps children see how physical activity can be fun. Especially for younger children, try not to impose rules but instead allow them to be child-directed and explore different sports and games.

You can bring a variety of options to the park and try out some different games like tag, kicking the ball around, or playing catch.  This sort of play promotes hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and it can also be a wonderful way to foster your child’s imagination and creativity, allowing him/her to explore new things. Another benefit is helping children see how exercise can come in many different forms and be enjoyable. It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, and gives children a way to release energy!

Check back next week – Wally will continue making the rounds of Seattle sports teams, trying to choose which one is right for him!

~The Incredible Years Team