By Meta Newell West
USD 435 Parents as Teacher’s families gathered at the Abilene Parks and Recreation gym on Jan. 10, 2013, for “play time” which consisted of scooter rides, bouncing balls of all kinds, tunnels to crawl through, parachute fun, kid-hoops, and more!
Theresa Weigel, PAT program coordinator, commented, “The evening provided family fun time and the opportunity to interact with other young families in the community.” It was a chance to de-stress after the holidays and the exercise even allowed some family members to act on their New Year’s fitness resolution.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) advises parents to get kids moving early in life, to foster healthy development and keep sedentary habits from taking hold. They say, “Even your toddler needs at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity every day, and should not sit still (for example, watching television) for more than an hour at a time.”
Scholastic for parents recommends the following: Use indoor-type balls for throwing and rolling (soft, lightweight ones are safe for indoors — try beanbags, foam balls, or beach balls) and scarves for dancing. Encourage your child to act out his storybooks or give a concert of her favorite songs. Or, they say, “Try marching, hopping, pumping your arms, playing kazoos — whatever you can dream up!”
In addition to lots of exercise, those families attending enjoyed a family meal prepared by students in Abilene High School’s Culinary Arts class. This event was provided by a grant from Community Foundation of Dickinson County.