Tag Archives: play

Benefits of Both Wired & Unwired Activities for Kids

This article entitled “Playground Dilemma: Balanace at Play” found on the eHow.com website takes a look at the pros and cons of electronic toys:

“The virtual world, however, is often unavoidable. A technology revolution complete with computer games, video consoles, accessible Wi-Fi and iPods can pose a challenge for parents who grew up playing outside and without wires. Technology is everywhere and seems to be a way of life for some families. How much is too much? What type of technological play is beneficial? And how can parents find a balance for their children?”

Read the article in full on the eHow.com website (written by Shannon Philpott).

Educational Toys Already Hiding in Your Home

Check out this article by writer Cynthia Renolds on the Canadian Living Moms website talking about all the great educational type toys you can easily craft up at home in minutes. No crafting experience required – super simple, free and fun for many different ages!

“No one wants to feel like they’re scrimping on their kids, but considering the economy, we’re all looking for ways to cut back on spending. Fortunately, the best toys don’t cost a thing.

Research shows that expensive electronic toys aren’t at all good for stretching imagination or boosting cognition. It’s the low- and no-cost toys, tools of what specialists refer to as loose parts play, that are superior. The bonus? Most of them can be made at home. They’re great for your kids and light on your pocketbook – and you don’t need to be a craft queen to get started.”

Read the full article on the Canadian Living Moms website.

Give with Target: Up to $1M for YMCA!

We need your help! As part of Target’s launch in Canada, they are donating up to $1 million to select Canadian charities, including YMCA!

Check out their ‘Give With Target’ app and choose “Active Play” for YMCA.

Every click on “Active Play” means a whole $100.00 for YMCA Strong Kids!

Let’s help our children and youth belong, grow, thrive and lead.

YMCA BBall World Challenge

Imagine a global celebration with 5 million people… The aim of the YMCA World Challenge is to show communities and the world how the YMCA is empowering young people and transforming communities, using culture, sports, education, exchange programs, and many other tools and activities.

The Unifying Event

A worldwide basketball shoot! Why basketball? It’s a YMCA invention, after all, and the reason for the World Challenge’s theme: 2012 Hoop Springs Eternal.

The goal is to have the largest number of kids, teens and young adults shooting basketballs in one day and break a world record. The more, the merrier!

Please join us at any YMCA Calgary location to play your part in breaking the record! More details will be posted as we move forward. Click here to find out other details about the YMCA World Challenge.

Unstructured Time for Kids

Huffington Post online has an interesting section where parents can write in to Susan Stiffelman, the ‘Parent Coach’, for tips and advice on all sorts of issues. One parent wrote in asking about unstructured time for their children and letting them be bored. Here’s some of the response from the Parent Coach:

As parents, we take pleasure in providing our children with opportunities to expand their horizons. Whether through karate classes, chess club or tap dancing lessons, most of us look for ways to help our kids develop new skills and abilities.

But children also need unstructured time — and plenty of it. Kids who are constantly occupied with organized activities don’t adequately nurture their creative instincts, and often become dependent on someone or something else to keep them happy and engaged.

Imaginative play is an essential element of childhood…

Click here to read the full response on www.huffingtonpost.com.

Hoops Hurray!

How did you enjoy the YMCA Aboriginal Youth Hoops tournament? Each year YMCA’s Aboriginal Active Life program hosts the Aboriginal Youth Hoops tournament—a 3-on-3 tournament is for Aboriginal youth ages 16Y–30Y. The tournament took place at Shaw Millenium Park on July 1.

YMCA Staff, Volunteers & Players at the Hoops Tourney

For the tourney winners & participants

Custom made Hoops tourney shirts

Wanna take part in next year’s YMCA Aboriginal Youth Hoops tournament? It is an annual event, taking place each year on July 1. Start planning your team and practicing your moves now for a great time next year!


Religious Headwear in Sports

An interesting article by Donald C. Collins on MomsTeam.com about whether or not to allow players to sport religious headwear during official sports play:

“While it is clear that officials and coaches could avoid religious head-wear media dust-ups by taking care of the issue early in a sports season, it is equally true that the sports governing bodies could take that burden off of them. There are certain items that are worn with sufficient frequency to merit a permanent exemption. Hijabs and yarmulkes both fall in that category. Nobody in their right mind is going to…”

Click here to read the full article on www.momsteam.com.

Aboriginal Hoops & DJ Needed

Each year YMCA Calgary’s Aboriginal Active Life program hosts the Aboriginal Youth Hoops tournamenta 3-on-3 basketball tournament for Aboriginal youth ages 16Y–30Y.

This year, the tournament will take place at Shaw Millenium Park on July 1, 2012. Please register in teams of four (4), with at least one player being of the opposite sex. For information contact 403-537-1723 or mretzer@calgary.ymca.ca.

The DJ:

We are putting out the call for an Aboriginal DJ who would like to DJ/MC our Aboriginal Youth Hoops Tournament on Canada day! It will be paid and the DJ/MC must have their own equipment. Great experience at an awesome and fun outdoor venue! Contact Pam Smith at psmith@bgcc.ab.ca.

Importance of Outside Play

Importance of Outside Play by

With Spring in the air, and the weather warming up, it is a great time to try and get children playing outdoors once again. In today’s society, video games and computers have taken the place of playing outside for many children. Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity and a number of other health problems and children who do not spend enough time playing outdoors are typically deprived of social interactions and natural stimulation.

Recent research has found that children who play outside for an average of 90 minutes per day in good weather have less risk of heart trouble later in life. Playing outside not only makes children healthier, there are a number of other benefits to a child’s growth and development provided by outdoor play.

Through physical play, young children discover the things their bodies can do. As they increase their skills of running, climbing, or throwing, children gain confidence in themselves and become more motivated to try new things. Playing outside is one of the best ways to boost self-esteem in young children.

When a child feels sure of himself and his abilities, he is more likely to interact with other children. Playing outdoors gives children a chance to play with others and develop healthy social skills. A child learns to share and to take turns outside. Qualities of leadership and cooperation may also begin to emerge in outdoor play events.

Cooperative play situations that occur quite often in outside play give children opportunities to work in groups. Children will work together to create the ideas they have imagined and when conflicts surface or problems arise, they will combine their efforts to resolve them. Playing outdoors can mold a child’s social confidence and abilities for the future.

Playing outside also allows children to understand and appreciate the natural world around them. Exploring nature and the elements is a child’s first contact with science. All five senses can be expanded through outdoor play. The sounds and sights of nature, along with the smells and the feeling of a spring breeze, are relaxing and enjoyable even to a small child.

Children are likely to make up a number of their own games to play outside. Unstructured play allows children to develop their own styles of play and enhances their creativity and imagination. Large muscle skills can be developed with a variety of balls, ride on toys, or swing sets. Assorted wood scraps and a few construction vehicles can turn the backyard into a building zone while promoting problem solving and logical thinking.

Outside play has always been an important influence in a child’s development. Children learn to play together as they develop a number of other skills. In today’s technological age it is more important than ever to encourage children to play outdoors, not only for their social and physical development, but for their healthiness.

Through the introduction of the television, computers and the Internet, games consoles, and portable video games, children are learning from a very early age that sitting in a chair staring at a screen is a great way to play. However there is a huge difference between talking to a fellow team mate through the Internet and a microphone and actual face-to-face contact.

It is vital that during these warm Summer months, children make the most of being able to go outside. This allows them to properly stretch out their muscles, breathe in the fresh air and get some vitamin D from the sunshine. Vitamin D encourages the absorption of calcium in the body which, in young children is essential for the development of strong bones and teeth. During the Winter, most children will not be exposed to enough vitamin D so it is vital that they get as much as they can during the warmer months to counteract this deficit.

There are also several social benefits of children playing outside. Outside games are often much louder and more energetic, allowing children to gain important physical skills and because there is usually less direction from adults, children learn skills such as negotiation and compromise. For example, getting children to build a sandcastle allows them to learn how to co-operate and work together to achieve something. When playing outdoors, a child is also exposed to completely different textures, sounds and smells which they would not otherwise experience indoors. They are often allowed more freedom to explore and discover things for themselves, building their independence and their confidence.

The playground at school is the perfect environment for learning these skills and gives children an allotted amount of time each day to let off some steam and interact with others. This highlights the importance for stimulating outdoor playground equipment. The equipment children use both individually and as part of a group activity, can be extremely beneficial in their development. For example using musical playground equipment can teach a child co-ordination and rhythm simply through dancing along to the music and playing the instruments.

So now that the weather is beginning to allow for outdoor play, we should encourage children to put away the game consoles and experience more of the environment for themselves and make the most of it.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3890145

Getting Kids to Play Outside

In an article by the National Wildlife Federation on TheDailyGreen.com, we learn ideas for inspiring kids to move away from the electronics keeping them indoors to the great outdoors for some fresh air and fun:

“Kids today spend 55 hours a week indoors using electronics, and less and less time outdoors. But how do you get your kid to experience the wonders of nature, develop creativity and learn to appreciate the virtues of quiet?”

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/play-outside-47060105#ixzz1qECpmyGZ