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Kingsport YMCA wants to help keep your kids active and engaged this summer

Staff report • Updated Apr 20, 2018 at 2:38 PM

KINGSPORT — Summer is a time when children can let their imaginations run wild. From creating their own plays to building forts in the backyard, there’s no limit to what kids can dream up — provided they are properly supported.

“There are no days off for a child’s developing mind and body,” said Regan Pierce, youth program director. “Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and engage kids to stay physically and intellectually active over the summer.”

This annual event is a nationwide initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families. Nearly 1.2 million participants will partake in active games, STEM activities, arts and crafts, interactive health demonstrations and more.

At the Kingsport YMCA, families and children will participate in garden planting, eat healthy snacks, make arts and crafts, see nature demonstrations, go through vision screenings and take a hip-hop class to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.

Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days, but to focus on physical and mental play, Pierce said.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

— High-five the fruits and veggies: Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development.

— Read together: The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants, 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.

— Get moving: Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: Ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.

— Play together: Play might 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, learning and other vital functions.

That’s why the Y wants to ensure that all kids in the greater Kingsport area awaken their summer imaginations through healthy eating habits and physical activity. To help get a jump-start on summer, the Y is hosting a free Healthy Kids Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kingsport YMCA.

 

HEALTHY KIDS DAY, what you need to know:

When — Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where — The Kingsport YMCA, Located at 1840 Meadowview Parkway.

What — Families and children will participate in garden planting, eat healthy snacks, make arts and crafts, see nature demonstrations, go through vision screenings and take a hip-hop class to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.

For more information, call (423) 247-9622 or visit ymcakpt.org.

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