This post was sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
With millions of school kids about to be on break for Thanksgiving holidays, it’s important for parents to get a game plan together to ensure that the entire break isn’t spent watching videos or playing video games. Encouraging activities that exercise the mind and the body is the way to go, and as parents, we set the example for our little ones, so we need to be prepared to do the same!
The Boys & Girls Club of America promotes something called the Triple Play, which refers to body, mind and soul, as 3 critical pillars for development. These pillars need to be nurtured all the time, with activities ranging from physical exercise to an IQ examination to stimulate the mind, but school breaks are an especially important time, since kids will be getting to spend more time with the people they look up to most, mom and/or dad.
A key component of the Triple Play is staying active and making sensible food choices to keep your body healthy. I strongly encourage you to involve your children in holiday food preparations in some form or fashion, especially as it relates to creating any dish that you think your child might resist (for many kids, that means veggies). If a child has a hand in making the dish, there is a sense of pride and much more willingness to try the food.
I’d also encourage you to take your child out for some nature hikes. Here in Chattanooga the leaves are a little past peak, but still absolutely gorgeous and just begging for people to come play in them. Your child could benefit greatly from spending some time outside with you raking leaves and then playing in the piles. And after pie has been served at Thanksgiving is the perfect time for the family to go for a walk around the neighborhood. If you live in a larger city, you can even spend some of your break being playground tourists, and heading to neighborhood parks you have never been to before or that you rarely visit. Just switching up the destination a bit and going somewhere new can pique children’s curiosity and make them willing to bundle up and go outside.
The Triple Play also encourages the development of interpersonal skills and improved self-confidence, so remember to include your children in the conversations happening during Thanksgiving and throughout the break. Let them practice interacting with as many people as possible, and let them use their own voice for expression. Perhaps letting your child create name cards for all of the guests and then deciding who sits where would be a great way for them to feel involved and to practice hosting skills.
The holidays are a very busy time for the grown ups (my to do list keeps getting longer while my days to accomplish it all keeps getting shorter!), but I promise that it doesn’t have to mean that school breaks are stressful for you. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to give the kids iPads and tell them to go crazy (and I have done that exact thing more times than I can count), but now that we homeschool, I am learning that involving the children in more things and saying “yes” when they ask to go outside and play are all win/wins. When the kids get the exercise they need and feel involved in family life, good things come out of it for everyone!
Boys & Girls Club has a Triple Play Parent Guide that is loaded with ideas for helping kids develop a strong mind, body and soul. Be sure to check it out! This is also a great time to check out your local Boys & Girls Club. In addition to providing great services after school and during the summer, many Clubs also provide extended hours during school breaks! Nat familiar with the organization? There are more than 4,300 Clubs in communities across the country, designed to provide safe, fun and affordable places for kids to go during out-of-school time and to engage in enriching programs and activities. Positive health and wellness are at the core of what Boys & Girls Clubs seek to instill in the children who participate in their programs.