As an innovative, interactive health program for children ages birth to five in North Carolina, Be Active Kids believes in the power of structured and unstructured active play as a key component to a child’s healthy development and overall well-being. The Be Active Kids team works across the state to promote engaging, structured and unstructured active play opportunities in child care centers, schools, homes, and communities by giving children the tools they need to develop positive physical activity habits for a lifetime of good health. By providing the best physical activity related resources and professional development to individuals caring for young children in North Carolina, Be Active Kids is able to develop and maintain strong relationships around children’s health through community and connection.
Our main tool for building a network of Be Active Kids advocates in each county is through our train-the-trainer model. During 4-hour training sessions, volunteer trainers across the state such as child care health consultants, local Smart Start partnership staff, local Child Care Resource and Referral staff, Head Start staff, community college instructors, recreation and park departments, YMCA staff, and more are trained on how to effectively teach and implement the Be Active Kids curriculum. These trainers then go out into their local counties and train child care providers and early childhood students on Be Active Kids and best practices for physical activity with young children. Since 1998, over 2,000 trainers and 10,000 teachers have been trained impacting over 100,000 children in North Carolina.
Best practice tells us that it is important for young children to accumulate at least 60 minutes of structured active play each day and at least 60 minutes of unstructured active play each day. Both forms of active play are vital to a child’s development as children create, explore, solve problems, use their imagination, follow directions, practice motor skills, and learn body awareness.
Structured physical activity opportunities play an essential and unique role in early childhood since adults are often the gatekeepers of young children’s movement. What is learned in these critical years of development lays the foundation for future cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. The Be Active Kids curriculum has over 80 interactive hands-on lessons for ages birth to five that give caregivers more developmentally appropriate tools for incorporating structured active play into a child’s daily routine. These structured play opportunities allow children to practice and develop fundamental motor skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.
For people interested in learning more about the Be Active Kids curriculum and professional development opportunities, please visit our website at www.beactivekids.org or contact the Be Active Kids team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Play on!
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