Little Wickets AUGUST Blog on HEALTHY ACTIVE CONFIDENT KIDS 2019
Happy Holidays (still) … here’s to healthy, active, confident kids…
I hope you are all having a great summer and just about holding it together as we are in our household … don’t worry not long to go now. The new school term is just around the corner…
Healthy, active, and confident kids – that really is something I’m sure every parent aims for. For some families, this just seems to happen but don’t be deceived by the Instagram pictures or Facebook bravado of your friends & friends’ friends… It’s never really that easy but I’m sure most of us are doing it mostly right. Even the most loving & best parenting techniques (whatever they really are) can’t guarantee your kids will grow up to be the exact version of healthy, active, and confident that you first had in mind… and it can be even harder during the School Holidays.
Whether your kids are preparing to start school for the first time in September or are revelling in the break to the school routine, every parent knows the long summer holidays can be a particularly tough time to convert those ‘Good Parent’ aspirations into action. You are trying to juggle work, family holidays, the fridge stock, the laundry pile, naming the new school uniform, finding the perfect hard-wearing yet kid-acceptable school shoes purchased and all those other everyday life things … and then there are the kids to ‘entertain’, ‘enrich’, ‘educate, or REALITY CHECK: just keeping them sort of occupied … Not to mention the social media onslaught reminding us of all the stuff we are supposed to be doing for the kids as well! All parents really are properly tested over the long summer holidays in their quest to do the best by their kids… But let’s be honest, quite often it is just about ‘survival’.
With a new term just around the corner, now is a great time to acknowledge that surviving the holidays is enough. Now is also a great time to think about pressing the ‘reset’ button ready to focus on new ideas and new plans for the school year ahead. It’s time to look for inspiration for things that will support your kids’ social, emotional, and physical development that they really will enjoy doing once the regular day to day pattern of the school term starts.
Whilst it’s true that there are loads of resources out there offering advice on how to instil confidence and healthy habits in kids (I read many of them when doing research for this blog post), I wanted to throw my own thoughts into the mix, because this topic is close to my heart and one of the reasons I started Little Wickets when my kids were really little and soon after started their own journey into school life.
The recommended time frames of activity for various age groups differ but for toddlers between the ages of 2 and 5 years old, the suggestions for healthy activity are at least 30 minutes of planned activity and 60 minutes of unstructured playtime a day! For children ages 6 and over, the recommended activity level is an hour of moderate to vigorous activity at least 3x a week. Not all Nursery, Early Years & School environments offer this much activity… So it is worth looking outside the structure of school and nursery to support your kids.
Getting children involved in sports, especially team sports, from a young age is a fantastic way to instil healthy habits and nurture a love and enjoyment of physical activity that will serve children well into their adulthood. There have are many studies which suggest that children who have more confidence in themselves and their own abilities are far more likely to excel academically as well as make friends more easily and be more inclined to be well-behaved. These positive outcomes are the cherry on top for helping kids to feel empowered and have an increased sense of self-worth. Confidence doesn’t come from succeeding all the time! It comes from building resilience and the knowledge that you have the ability to pick yourself up and try again even if you fail… In a team sport like cricket, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to fail (i.e not picking up a new skill immediately the first time around, or not hitting) and still be able to have fun and realise that it’s not the end of the world if they’re not champions all the time. The important thing is to focus on having fun and putting in the effort.
Regular physical activity contributes to and builds physical confidence which can encourage children to be more comfortable with trying new things and trusting in their own ability and competence. Having the building blocks for these qualities in place for children early on in their development is key to encouraging a healthy mindset that lasts a lifetime.
Whether a child is 2 ½ or 7 or somewhere in between, having fun and enjoying physical activity has a wealth of benefits that can contribute to improved confidence:
- Developing motor skills like throwing and catching
- Social skills
- Building and maintenance of healthy bones and muscles
- Healthy emotional wellbeing
- Healthy weight
- Positive association with sport and fitness
Not every kid will (or even wants to) become a cricketing hero like Ben Stokes is at the moment (What a great summer of cricket it has been so far!) but they can all have the same passion and enjoyment he clearly gets from the game!
The key (and the centre of Little Wicket’s ethos) is to have fun, which is why we handpick our coaches to ensure that they have a passion for sport and the ability to engage with even the youngest kids in a fun and exciting way so as to encourage them to be healthy, active, and confident.
As always, thank you for reading! If you’d like to contribute to the Little Wickets conversation about the healthy, active, and confident kids, we’d love to hear from you. You can drop us an email or send us a message on social media. Come and follow @LittleWickets on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Finally, don’t forget to register your child(ren) for the Autumn Term in order to increase your likelihood of getting the venue/time slot that you’d like! Our term starts again on Saturday 7th September and the sessions are filling up fast.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Until next month,