Thousands Expected For Free, Fun Family Activities at Local Ys

To motivate families to have a healthy summer, YMCAs across the state are hosting a Healthy Kids Day, a free community event offering fun, creative and educational activities for kids. Healthy Kids Day nationally will be celebrated April 30th. To see a complete listing of dates and times, visit your local YMCA’s web page or go to www.njymca.org/hkd.

From cities to suburbs, more than 10,000 children and families in New Jersey are expected to visit their local Ys on Healthy Kids Day to play games, exercise, dabble in arts and crafts, sample healthy snacks and discover that fun and fitness go together. Summer day camp tours and a preview of camp activities, sports classes, and swim programs are featured at many YMCA’s.

Nationwide, more than 1,500 Ys will be celebrating Healthy Kids Day, an initiative that aims to foster youth and family physical activity, healthy eating, close the summer learning gap by inspiring kids to stay active and engaged after school lets out.

“Healthy Kids Day is more than a day of fun, active play and learning. It’s designed to get kids started on a lifetime path to healthier living by emphasizing the importance of good health and nutrition,” said Steve Jobin, CEO of the Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy. “Part of our mission is supporting families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home.”

Healthy Kids Day is held annually to improve the health and well-being of families through fun and educational activities. This year, activities at local Ys range from a family color run at the Hunterdon County YMCA, to an outdoor campfire with songs and games at the Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunwick. The fun includes free giveaways at Mount Laurel YMCA with an afternoon full of sports and fitness activities and a basketball contest at the Community Y in Red Bank. Several Y’s will be hosting tennis play days in partnership with the United States Tennis Association, giving youth and families time to try the game. Metuchen, Edison and Woodbridge and South Amboy YMCA”s will feature the bounce house and other physical activities.

Make healthy the healthy taste test!

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families form healthy habits:

  • Try, try, repeat – There are many great tasting fruits and vegetables that kids have never heard of, let alone tried. Grab a new fruit or vegetable and encourage everyone in the family to try at least a bite.
  • Play around town – Challenge the family to play on a different playground every week. Identify playgrounds at a variety of parks; expand definitions of playgrounds to include nature trails, a nearby stream, and a bike path.
  • Families at play for an hour a day – From walking to gardening, or swimming to shooting hoops, make playful movement a part of your family’s day. To get 60 minutes of moderate activity throughout your day just add 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there.
  • Foster a passion for reading – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
  • Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning, and other vital functions.

Ys hosting Healthy Kids Day at www.njymca.org/hkd

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of hildren and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.