Monday, October 3, 2011

Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play

We attended the Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play in DC on the very muddy Ellipse by the White House the weekend before last. We knew better than to drive and opted to take Metro instead, which I think the girls generally enjoy more than whatever it is we're going to see or do!

Day of Play Entrance under a cloudy sky
While the event had so much to be desired in the way of planning, communicating those plans to attendees and organization/set up, I can see where Nick was going with it. But, being as allergic to mud as I am, the idea of tempting fate by actually PLAYING in or near the stuff in my prudently-chosen white linen pants (wink and a thumbs up!) was wholly unappealing.

We DID get to make about a couple thousand new friends and meet the Fresh Beat Band (score!), which was the highlight of our day and my entire mission if I'm being honest. Is there a support group for Mom-Groupies of kids' shows?

The Fresh Beat Band

If becoming one with the mud wasn't a huge issue for you, ahem, there were lots of things to encourage kids and parents to get out and play. They had soccer, basketball, tennis, free play with inflatable balls, hula-hooping, a rock-climbing wall, a mini obstacle course and lots more.

Outdoor play is so important to a healthy mind and body, and the earlier you teach your kids the benefits of regular exercise, the better off they'll be for it. It's a great idea to work physical activity into your lesson plans, and I've found it's best inserted mid-morning after we've done school, but before lunch time. Homeschooling isn't only done with books and papers. If you've never thought about it before, consider making this a normal part of your routine- biking, strolling, or skating around your neighborhood or favorite park definitely counts.

On the days you can't go out, try this: The next time you're doing jumping jacks, squats, push-ups or crunches, invite your kids to join you if they don't go ahead and jump in on their own (chances are they will) and throw in some learnin' while you're at it.

Keep track of your repetitions by doing some or all of these:

1) Count aloud together or alternating (fun!) by twos, fives, tens, etc
2) Spell out words or names relevant to what they are learning
3) Work memorizing math facts into the counting
4) Be creative!

It's a fact that the more senses you can employ while learning (smell, sight, hearing, taste, touch) the easier it'll be for the info to 'stick'. Teaching your child good habits now will go a long way and even better, the time you'll spend together exercising is most definitely time well spent.

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