With the arrival of the winter season, we asked Directors and Educators from Healthy Start child care centres how they keep themselves and the children in their care active. Here are some of the answers we received:
When the winter days are too cold to go outside, we do a lot of dancing in our center to keep active. We also have a yoga instructor to do Kids Yoga with the children. We leave a CD available for the kids to use at any time with pictures of the yoga poses.
When the weather is nice we go outside to climb the large hills of snow at the park, close to our centre.
– Vanscoy Early Learning Centre, SK
The children go outside daily for 45-60 minutes. When the weather does not allow us to go outside and we must stay inside the children do yoga, dance through obstacle courses, do ballet, stretch and move a lot with music, as well as aerobics. We try to encourage them to be active throughout the day wherever they are to decrease sitting time as much as possible.
We are promoting different activities every day, for example activities with resistance to strengthen muscles. The children were shown the right way of sitting up straight, which is pretty hard. We try to increase the children’s flexibility through yoga and ballet dances. Finally, having knowledge about the importance of the circulatory system, we are making the children aware of the importance of walking running etc. to stay healthy, especially in the winter when they are more limited in choices to be active.
– Kinder Kollege, Kindersley, SK
To keep our children busy during the winter months, we incorporate movement into songs when we sing them, play Freeze dance, pp. 34-35 from LEAP-HOP, games like red light, green light, and What time is it Tricky Wolf, pp. 100-101, or do yoga.
With weather permitting us to go outside and be active the children play tag, soccer, make snow angels and snow men, and go for neighbourhood walks.
– North Battleford Day Care Centre, SK
When we go outside, the children love tobogganing. They will use their toboggans to pull one another around the yard, as well as transport ice blocks to be used to build forts. We will build forts in the backyard, decorating the ice blocks with food colouring mixed in water. The children also love helping out when we need to shovel the snow and make snowmen of all sizes.
When we need to stay inside, we play three of the games found in LEAP-HOP binders. Parachute lift-off, pp. 66-67 and Playful parachute, pp. 70-71 are two good options. They especially enjoy Freeze dance, pp.34-35 as they have the chance to dress up as characters from the movie Frozen and sing and dance around the room. We also play with hula hoops. The children really enjoy spinning the hoops around their waists or setting them up for hop-scotch. They also pretend to be frogs, hopping from one lily pad to the next. The children love taking the sponge noodles and pretending they are snakes that need to be jumped over or make shake. We have put a track in our centre so that the children can follow the route. Equipped with steering wheels that we bought, they pretend to be cars that need to follow the traffic signs and road signs we have made. Finally, any action song is a lot of fun to move along to. We hope to introduce them to yoga this winter.
– Dundonald Childcare Cooperative, SK