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Sports: Benefits for the Body and Mind

Sports, or any physical activity, are crucial for a child’s development and well-being. Whether organized by a school, a club or just a few friends in their free time, sports offer countless opportunities for a child’s physical, social and emotional growth!

Physical Benefits

Getting active is important for young children who are at a stage in life where physical development occurs quickly. Specifically, sports help with physical growth in these ways:

Motor skills: Hand-eye coordination and timing come with movement and practice. Sports are perfect for training both.

Bone and muscle development: Occasional resistance stimulates the growth and strengthening of muscles and bones. Too much can hurt growth though, so don’t let your child go without rest.

Stronger vision: Taking in an appropriate amount of natural light will decrease the probability of your child developing vision problems in the future. But on really sunny days, a hat or glasses should still be worn to protect your child’s eyesight.

Social Benefits

Almost every organized sport is played with teams. The competition, and the team dynamic itself, comes with perks and lessons for your child:

Team skills: Communication, understanding rules and the importance of sharing are vital skills your child will learn when playing sports.

Friend group: Your child may not like every person on their team but spending time with other children at practice can foster strong friendships.

Confidence: Making friends is not always easy, but playing sports with other children offers opportunities for your child to practice introducing theirself and feeling like they are a part of the group.

Emotional Benefits

When it comes to developing emotional traits and qualities, childhood is an important time in a person’s life. Organized sports not only help build a strong foundation for emotional growth, but also have some added benefits:

Self-esteem: Being a part of a team can give your child a sense of importance, and going to practice to get better can offer a sense of accomplishment as well.

Lower stress: “Letting it out on the field,” is sometimes very healthy. Sports can be a physical outlet for stress, leading to improved sleep and a longer attention span.

Emotional recognition: By playing sports, children will learn that they must control their anger and recognize their emotions in order to keep a clear mind and perform well.

Choosing a Sport

Ultimately, it should be up to your child what sport they would like to play. Moreover, you should accept and support their decision. However, there will be times when your child will want to quit when things get hard. At that point it’s up to you to evaluate what would be best for your child’s physical, social, and emotional development.

To get started you can go online to find local clubs for age-appropriate sports, or find out what sports your child’s school offers after class. You can also observe your child during playtime and see what they like to do!

 

Sports and Activities with Prep

At Prep Academy Schools, we passionately seek to guide the growth every student through an innovative curriculum and a healthy balance of work and play. We have a variety of after-school enrichment programs that children can join to be physically active and develop important life skills.

6 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Polaris and Columbus, Ohio

Weekdays can get crazy for families with busy schedules. From school and work to sports and dance practice, not to mention homework, sometimes it seems like the week will never end.  But when the weekend finally rolls around, you may find yourself with a little free time to get out for some much-needed family fun. The Columbus metropolitan area is a great place for families looking for something fun to do on the weekend.

Families living in the Polaris and Columbus areas of Ohio don’t have to look very far for some weekend activities.

Below is a list of kid-friendly places in Polaris and Columbus, Ohio:

Fun in the Jungle, 345 McGill Street, Sunbury, Ohio: This indoor family entertainment venue offers a large jungle-themed play area, arcade featuring over 1,000 games, mini bowling, virtual reality, birthday parties with private rooms available, and food.

Glow Putt Mini Golf, 161 Granville St, Gahanna, Ohio: Featuring a safari themed 18-hole miniature golf course, this glow-in-the-dark venue is perfect for both children and adults. The prehistoric dinosaur theme makes it a cool place for birthdays or weekend outings with friends and family.

The Jungle Gym, 755 US 23 N Delaware, Ohio: Offering gymnastics classes, parkour, open gyms, rock climbing, and parties, The Jungle Gym is the perfect spot for kids with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The Jungle Gym also features options for kayaking, slacklining, indo boarding and more.

Recreations Outlet, 484 W Olentangy St, Powell, Ohio: With basketball hoops, trampolines, playsets, and spas, Recreations Outlet is considered “Ohio’s Playground Headquarters” with a little bit of something for everyone. Although this is a showroom for their products, Recreations Outlet lets everyone test their products before investing in them, offering pay-to-play options, play passes, and birthday parties.

Magic Mountain Fun Center, 8350 Lyra Dr, Columbus, Ohio: This action-packed venue features attractions including Go-Karts, Miniature Golf, Laser Tag, Bumper Boats, KidsGym Climbing Playground and Video Arcade. Offering both indoor and outdoor attractions, Magic Mountain Fun Center is the ideal place for family fun any time of the year, rain or shine.

Peapod Play Café, 4874 Thompson Rd, Columbus, Ohio: This chic café, featuring life-size playsets and obstacle courses, is perfect for families with little ones. Offering a clean and comfortable environment serving coffee for adults, this is a great spot for play dates and to meet other parents in the community.

Striking the right balance

At Prep Academy Schools, we understand that learning and play go hand in hand with children. Play activities and opportunities for family bonding enhance school learning and help kids build confidence. We strive to achieve a healthy balance of work and play for our students. Children who attend Prep Academy Schools are challenged academically with our exclusive Accelerated Curriculum designed by Early Childhood Development Specialists with the Accelerated Student in mind. We balance this challenging curriculum with fun activities and a creative learning environment.

We encourage our families to continue this creativity after school and on the weekends by exploring the fun options that the Polaris and Columbus communities have to offer. At Prep Academy Schools, we believe that a healthy balance of work and play leads to healthier children and adults!

Exercising with Your Child

Does going to the gym often rank somewhere on the bottom on your long list of daily tasks? Squeezing in time for an exercise routine can often be difficult when your life is swamped with work and daily activities, especially if you have a child (or two) to take care of. Working out doesn’t have to be hard, though!

Here are some ways that you can exercise right within the comfort of your own home and with the company of your entire family.

Tips to Sneak in a Workout with your Kids

  • Teaching opportunities. While your child is eating his snack, take advantage of the free time by doing some reverse lunges or push-ups. If your child has never seen you do this before, take the opportunity to explain what you’re doing and why it’s important to stay fit and healthy.
  • Make a game. Create a game where you and your child can be active together. One way to do this is to put a twist on the popular game Twister. Designate a workout to each color on the spinner. For example, yellow could be labeled as squats and green could be labeled as jumping jacks. Whoever lands on yellow has to do squats on the yellow colored circles, and whoever lands on green has to do jumping jacks on the green colored circles.
  • Bathtub basics. While your little one is taking a bath, you can do some triceps dips on the edge of the tub. Entertain your child by making funny faces each time you dip down.

Fun Fitness for the whole family

  • Go on walks. Incorporating walks into your daily schedule is a great way to get the family to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. A good time for this is before or after dinner when there is still daylight but it’s not too hot outside. If you plan on going on a longer walk, make sure to take the stroller in case your little one gets tired.
  • Have a dance party. Dancing is a great way to burn calories and just enjoy good music with your family. Most kids never want to stop dancing once they start, so this is a great way to improve your stamina too.
  • Have a sports night. Once a week, you can make it part of your schedule to head to the park with your family and play a sport together. Maybe one night you decide on basketball and the next week you decide on tennis. By introducing your child to different sports, you will help them figure out which sport they might want to play on a team in the future.

These are just a few ideas that you can use to improve your family’s physical well-being. At Prep Academy, we believe in staying healthy together as a family. By starting these healthy habits now when your child is young, you can instill the practice of leading an active lifestyle which can last a lifetime!