We’re three weeks into the new year, and we hope you haven’t dropped your resolutions just yet. As the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, resolutions were made to spend more time with families, read a new book each month, travel and explore, try new recipes, be more adventurous, or save more money. But the resolution made most—by 69 percent of people in 2015—was to get fit and healthy, lose weight, and keep the weight off.
I confess, I was a major Parks and Recreation kid. I still have a drawer full of brightly colored, oversized and permanently stained turquoise t-shirts from every summer of my youth spent at the Middletown Department of Parks and Recreation Day Camp. I vividly remember the daily fight for a seat at the counselor’s picnic table, the monthly field trips to Water Wiz, those rainy days spent overtaking the nearby library and coming home so sweaty and dirty from hours of endless play that all my parents could do was hose me off in the driveway. It was there that I learned to play tennis with Counselor Mike, make a mean friendship bracelet with Head Counselor Christine, and jump beach waves with Counselor Kelly. Yes, those were the days.
Flash forward a few decades later and here I am, National Network Manager with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation reliving the glory days of my summer recreation past every day.
Limiting screen time in your park and recreation summer and out-of-school time programs can be a challenge, especially on inclement-weather-days. What about educational programs? Perhaps your program occasionally shows short videos as part of an anti-bullying project or maybe you lead a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Kids need to use a screen to learn coding right?
Here’s the deal. What’s important about this standard is limiting unnecessary screen time. It’s about ensuring that if screen time is used, it is balanced with physical activity time.
Are you ready to flip the switch on screen time? Try one (or all) of these tips!
Take a look out your window — what do you see? Likely roads, trees, buildings, perhaps some green space and people going about their daily routines. Most of us would regard this as an unremarkable everyday American tableau. Leaders at Miami-Dade County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS), however, view scenes like this through an entirely different lens. Their concepts of place-making through strategic policies, programs and partnerships to encourage healthier lifestyles was the focus of NRPA’s first Innovation Lab, held March 12-13 in Miami, Florida.
The opinions of NRPA blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of National Recreation and Park Association as a whole.
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