The Matt Griffin YMCA in SeaTac hosts a free community event on Saturday, April 29, to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day – the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.
The day-long event – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the YMCA, 3595 S. 188th St. in SeaTac – features 200 free bicycle helmets and activities such as family Zumba, water hockey, rock climbing wall, bounce house, obstacle course, touch-a-truck, face painting, gaga pit, fitness games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.
YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at more than 1,600 Ys across the country and attended by more than 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically – this summer learning loss is more pronounced among students from low-income families. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on “charging” kids up with enthusiasm for themselves and their potential.
“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result,” Larodus Carter, regional administrator of CHI Franciscan and Matt Griffin board member, said in a media release.
“We see the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves,” said JD Hill, Executive Director, Matt Griffin YMCA. “A child’s development is never on vacation and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer.
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. 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.
• Foster an early and ongoing passion for books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
• Team up for athletic events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
• Volunteer together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
• 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.
For more information, contact Hill at 206-787-1185 or visit Seattleymca.org.