Friday May 17, 2013
I probably shouldn't admit this on the Internet (where everything lasts forever), but my 11-year-old is a compulsive watcher of Dance Moms. Maybe it's the thrill of seeing "real" kids her own age on TV, or the parallels between her own figure skating competitions and the dance events on the show. They do all require hairspray, glitter, sparkly costumes--and lots of hard work.
Find out more about the world of competitive dance in my latest youth sports profile. Yes, dance is a sport!
Wednesday May 15, 2013
USA Swimming's Make a Splash tour kicks off its fifth summer series May 16 in New York City. Through events featuring Olympic swimming stars, the organization hopes to educate parents, kids and communities about the importance of learning to swim. USA Swimming's charitable foundation says that participation in formal swimming lessons could reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.
USA Swimming has an online tool to help you find learn-to-swim programs (some may have scholarships available), and you will soon be able to see if the tour is coming to your area. The Make a Splash tour is presented by Phillips 66.
Photo: Catherine Holecko
Monday May 13, 2013
We are constantly learning about the ways fitness improves our health. Recently, researchers showed that exercise in childhood protects us from bone fractures well into adulthood. So how about finding some new ways to improve your family's fitness? I have 10 suggestions for you--and they are totally doable, I promise.
1. Set a goal
2. Do some research
3. Rewrite your grocery list
4. Learn a new skill
See the whole list.
Photo: Siri Stafford
Thursday May 9, 2013
For the 7th year, play advocacy group KaBoom! has recognized cities that value and encourage play. This year, 217 communities in 43 states made the list. They range from large urban centers (like San Francisco) to tiny towns (Ellsworth, Kansas, home to just over 3,000 people). "These Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community," KaBoom! said.
These cities are now eligible for $20,000 playground construction grants, and other funding that could increase play opportunities for their local families.