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Spring Sports Season

Boys eating snacks during halftime

It's time for outdoor sports, fun, and games again. Are you ready?

Your Guide to a Successful Season
Family Fitness Spotlight10

Earth Day idea: Swap your sports gear

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Little League baseball catcher with protective gearSpring sports are upon us and Earth Day is next week. So it's the perfect time to do some reusing and recycling via a sports gear swap. It's easy: bring outgrown equipment (or, let's face it, stuff your child has simply lost interest in) to a swap so another child can use it. While you're there, catch some deals of your own: Pick up gently used gear that your kid can use now. It's a win-win for families, and can even serve as a fundraiser for your youth sports organization.

Find out how to organize your own sports gear swap. It's simple to do and brings benefits to your whole community--not to mention Mother Earth.

Photo: Ryan McVay / Getty Images

Active games for your Easter party

Thursday April 10, 2014

boy with Easter basketFor the past few years, my family has been lucky enough to attend an Easter egg hunt hosted by a family with a lot of land--and a lot of eggs to hide. The kids have a great time roaming the property in search of eggs and treats.

But of course, egg hunts aren't the only way to enjoy an Easter party. I've rounded up nine more ways to have fun as you celebrate Easter with kids. All of these Easter games and activities require physical activity, so get hopping!

Photo: Stockbyte / Getty Images

The old-school way to get to school

Monday April 7, 2014

Now that spring is maybe, kinda, sorta, almost here, my kids and I are really looking forward to biking and walking to school once again. While it's a short trip, I don't allow my third-grader to travel alone because of some tricky street crossings. I should probably lobby our city for a crossing guard. Modifications like that may "both promote walking and make it safer," says a study just published online in the journal Pediatrics. The study also declared that "Walking to school over a short distance was found to be relatively safe in Toronto," where the researchers gathered their data.

This study also had an accompanying commentary, which made some thoughtful points. Here's what Drs. Gilbert Chien Liu and Jason Mendoza had to say in their article, titled "There and Back Again: Safety and Health on the Journey to School": "This Canadian study is among the first to reveal that a higher rate of children walking or biking to school has no significant association with traffic-related injury. This is welcome and important evidence for policy-makers ... and for activists. ... Active school transportation is an 'old school' form of physical activity that more children should adopt."

Host an active birthday party

Thursday April 3, 2014

It's birthday week at our house: Each child is celebrating one, and for good measure they designated the same two days as birthdays for our newly adopted dogs.

Between the new pups, spring break, and Easter coming up, we are keeping our parties very simple this year. Our son will do a movie night and our daughter will have a few girls sleep over. But in past years, we've had a lot of fun with active birthday parties: we've done karate, ice skating, and a sports theme at a gym. Easy and fun--and there's less guilt about loading guests up with ice cream and cake!

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