I am Moving, I am Learning

Today’s guest blogger is Brooke Rains, Coordinator for Child Care Network in Lenawee, Jackson and Hillsdale Counties. Brooke is a wife, dog mom, beach lover, education graduate of Adrian College, and an Adrian resident. She is excited to blog for us about her role as a national trainer for I Am Moving, I Am Learning, a proactive program for addressing childhood obesity in preschool-age children.

Parents and Families: Opportunity is knocking!  You can help the young children in your life build a strong foundation for movement and physical activity!

In fact, YOU are a very important piece of that foundation.  You are their role model.

“Ugh!” you may say, “Enough with the role modeling demands!” I know, I know…

But listen to this: When children see you being active, and see you feeling JOY about being active, research clearly indicates that they will be more motivated and interested in physical activity.  And we can all agree that it’s important for children to be active, right?  So, calm down.  This doesn’t (necessarily) mean that you are smiling ear-to-ear while you’re huffing and sweating on your Stairmaster.  It can simply mean that young ones see you enjoyingfamily_walk a walk or hike, playing a friendly game of baseball at the park, or running around the backyard with the dog.

Movement for young children is simply that—moving.  It does not involve long bouts of cardio or time on treadmills.  It involves opportunities to move their bodies in different ways that help them gain foundational skills for more complex movement later on.  (You always wanted a star athlete in the family, right?!  Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself…)

Stick with me and through this blog I’ll walk you through (ugh, sorry) exactly how much time children need to spend moving their bodies and how you can help them achieve it through everyday activities and materials you have at home.

So, take that first step—literally—toward building a child’s foundation of movement!  Grab the family and head out to Hidden Lake Gardens in the Irish Hills, a truly amazing and underused resource for moving in Lenawee County.  Take a joyful walk around the grounds to see nature’s signs of spring (“I Spy” perhaps?).  The first Monday of every month is free admission!

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