How can I be a healthier me?

That’s the name of the game we are playing at the end of our Pre School classes this week. The children shout ‘How Can I be a healthier me?’ and we give them different options such as eating fruit and vegetables, brushing your teeth each night or helping with chores at home. If the answer we give is a healthy one they can run across the mat and try and catch the teacher.

As many of you know, here at The Little Gym we focus on more than just the physical benefits gained through their gymnastics (though this is still important), we also work on ‘Brain Boosting’ activities  - letting the children think, play and be creative, and ‘Life Skills’ – sharing, helping, making friends and thinking about their role in society. We vary our learning units throughout each semester so that the children can develop and gain confidence in all these areas.

We are currently focusing our lessons on enhancing the children’s understanding of health, fitness and personal responsibility. The Pre School learning unit (ages 3-6) is ‘Healthy Chores for you and Yours’ and has a fun focus on keeping our bodies, minds and homes healthy and fit. This week we are filling in  ‘This is Me’ cards with the children, focusing on all their favourite things. We hope you enjoy the funny answers they give as much as we do – our favourite animal choice this week has been a ‘sparkly unicorn with wings!’

The Grade School (ages 6-12) learning unit is ‘Discover the wealth of fitness and health’ where we will be using fun fitness challenges, music and their gymnastics skills to remind the kids that we all have jobs to do such as keeping healthy and helping at home and with the environment. Don't be surprised if you hear us singing, ‘I don’t want to be a junk food eater’ around the gym this week as it’s a super catchy warm up song we are doing with the kids!

It is important to make everyday things fun and creative so that the children are inspired and motivated to think and build on the topics in each learning unit. We encourage them to try new things at home such as offering to help tidy up their toys (we know how this can be a challenge at times) or helping set the table for dinner.

The focus on healthy eating and lifestyle is another really important aspect of this learning unit. It holds a special interest to one of our instructors Lucy who runs a health and wellbeing website and blog called as she has a keen interest in nutrition of adults and children.

“I work at The Little Gym part time, I also look after my sisters three children, Olive who is 4, Len who is 2 and Wilfred who is 5months, two days a week while my sister is at work. In our spare time (when we can find it) my sisters and I work on our blog; Paleo Britain. I’m really passionate about helping people lead healthier lives and making the best choices for diet and lifestyle. The most important thing is to choose nutrient dense food when making meals, especially for young children as their appetites and capacity for food are often small. Choosing the most nutrient dense meals ensures they are getting all they need to develop, physically and mentally. One thing my sisters and I have been working on are simple and quick recipes (tried and tested) that children will love.”

Check out the recipes for kids section of Lucy’s website for some tasty meal ideas. The Banana & Blueberry pancakes are our favourite, and they are also dairy and gluten free!


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