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Play With Your Child At The Park

fun in the sun

The park is a great place to play year round in any season. I’m in the Northeast and many people in this area think of the park as a thing to do in the Summer or in warm weather. But playing outdoors is great all times of the year. When I was coming up we played outside year round and rarely ever came indoors.

Only when it was frigid outside did we bother to come inside. Our fingers were numb and blue and we looked like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, which was some feat as I am caramel in color. We would come in and drink hot chocolate to warm up.

In the winter, Read more »

Do You And Your Family Value Fitness

When asked the question do you and your family value fitness, most people would say, “Yes .” or ” Of course.” But is that really true? If someone were to follow you around for a day how much physical activity would they see going on in your life. What I find is that people really value fitness and think that it’s important but have a difficult time really following through on this particular value. Another situation I found is that  parents make sure that their children are in some form of physical activity but not themselves.

Parents feel that after they take their children to soccer practice, dance lessons, gymnastics, track, Pop- Warner Football and all the rest, there is no time left for them. At the end of the day they are pooped and just want to sit down and watch their favorite television program and then go to bed. Other factors, like trying to make ends meet sometimes require people to have more than one job, which is definitely understandable. Many of the parents I talk to are in a catch 22 situation because their time is limited they have a tendency to eat more processed foods , fast food and junk foods. They watch in dismay as their waistlines balloons and the pounds creep on.

Listed below are some ways that you can align with your value of valuing fitness and taking action on this value. Taking small consistent steps to attain your desires and be in alignment with your values will help you to feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself you feel good overall and this effects your perspective and outlook on life.

  1. Make time for your fitness. Look at your schedule and see where you can fit it in realistically. For me I find the very best time is first thing in the morning . I’ve tried many other times, evening, at night , midday but the best time always comes back to being when I first get up. You may be different so find what works for you.
  2. You want to build consistency and create the habit first. Once you find that you’re in the habit, you will naturally  add more time on to your time automatically.
  3. Start small, success begets more success. The more success you experience and create the more success will happen. If you do even five minutes of exercise within the first hour of waking up that will make a difference. I recommend doing heart raising movements that require you to take in more oxygen than you would normally. Trying it five to ten minutes a day will go a long way and help get you in the fitness habit.
  4. Psyche yourself up. Tell yourself: ” You got this”. You can do it . You’ve got the juice and you have what it takes. You have swagger and are the kind of person that walks their walk and talk their talk. You honor and love yourself.
  5. Have a singular focus on just that one goal, to get up and move your body for 5-10 minutes. Success is more likely when you combine it with something that you are doing already. For example if you want to get your praise and worship on and your exercise put on gospel music. You can also sing your own praises making up your own songs. I find music helps inspire me to move so put your favorite music on.

Have fun. Be creative. Start now. You don’t have to wait until the morning to start your fitness routine . Immediately after reading this you can walk around your dinning room table for 5 minutes. Walk around the house and say inspiring things to yourself. Hit the floor and do some pushups if you can. It’s up to you and you can do it!

Please share this post with family and friends on social media or through word of mouth. Please also comment below on what you do to get or stay fit. We’d love to hear from you and value your feedback. Have a great day! :-)


Working Your Child’s Body and Mind

What’s a really great and fun way to work your child’s mind and body. Word Hop Scotch of course, you don’t have to use all  of the letters and you can tailor it to your child’s age. Before I continue I saw this concept on a cable show called “Fun to Grow On”, it can be found on the Veria Living Channel. I have  altered it a little because I work with children from infancy to 12 years of age and want to include as many age groups as possible.

In some schools they start learning vocabulary as early as kindergarten, mainly three letter words which there are a lot of. To build in success, let your child look at some words and practice them first. Maybe they can write them down ahead of time.

You can use the traditional hop scotch diagram or you can make it with 6 or 8 or 9 blocks. You can have multiple letters in a block. For younger children I would put two  letters in each block. I would leave out the least used letters like “x” , “y”,”z”, “q” or whatever you wish.

You can have each word they come up with start with the letter they land on or just have that letter in the word. You make the rules.  Since this is a game where you want the kids  to use both their body and their mind you want to make sure you keep the game moving. They will get a pretty good work out trying to balance on one leg while they try to figure out a word. This would also be a great way to get them to remember their spelling words in school. Just grab a bunch of their classmates and have a blast.

If you are a teacher this would be a great opportunity to get some kinesthetic learning in. The more senses that are involved the more your students will retain the information. They will also love the opportunity to do something different .

You play the game like traditional hop scotch where you throw an object on a block area and hop onto to each letter. You will need to assign some one to keep track of the words so they aren’t used again. This doesn’t have to be the same person as they can take turns.

Try this game with your children. It’s a game that can be played both out doors or inside. Hop Scotch is a game that never goes out of style and is so easy and simple to play. Try it and let me know how it turns out. I’d love to hear from you.




Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Play

“Play” what kind of images does that word bring to mind. As an adult when I hear the word “play” I get excited. I feel happy and very willing to participate. I think about other words like fun, joy and happiness. Now how about these words “work out” or ” exercise”. Did you feel your body just sink? Do you feel energized and invigorated about taking part in this activity. Not so much right, you can think of all the things that need to get done and that are really more important than working out or exercising.

Why is this important to explore? Our children are influenced by how we feel about things. If we don’t have enthusiasm about a particular topic or subject, they are likely not to have it either. If they see us dragging ourselves to the gym or studio or complaining about going to work out, how happy do you think they are going to be about doing it.

It would be a lot easier to get our children involved if we looked at moving our bodies from the aspect of play. In our minds we would feel much better about doing it also. Let’s play catch. Let’s play kick the ball. Let’s play hopscotch or jump rope or who’s got the bean bag or swing on the swing in the park. In all of the mentioned activities we are moving our bodies burning calories and hopefully we are also having fun.


When you play there’s no time limit. You are so lost in the activity and having fun that you don’t even think about the time. You have a big smile on your face and you feel great. You are probably laughing and acting silly and goofy. You will probably notice that your competitive spirit starts to come out and you want to win. This drives you harder to do your best so that you can win, which calls for more energy and more time.

Sure you may get a little winded but you can always call a time out or take a break. You don’t have to be perfect or do anything perfectly but you do have to do something. Get going and get active is the name of the game. You will be spending quality time with your child or children. You will also be leading by example and this is great for your child.


So start to look at the things that you and your child can do from the aspect of play. Even silly party games like pin the tail on the donkey and cracking open a pinata get the body moving and burn excess energy. If because of work and timing you aren’t able to participate allowing your children just to play at the park or team sports are excellent forms of play also.

Lastly, you child might not be ready for team sports yet. Think about creating a play date with some of their friends where it is centered around some activity where they are moving their bodies and not just sitting and playing videos game. Skating is a great activity that comes to mind. If you child is more academic than athletic why not try word hop scotch.

Try these suggestions and let me know how they turn out. If you have had success with something different please share it with us, we’d love to hear from you . Also please pick up a free ebook on healthy eating and activities that you can do with your child at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com

A Fun Way To Get Your Children To Drink Water

One of the things that I am really excited about is that I am seeing young children in my classes drinking more water. I see the little miniature bottles of water in their little cubbies and that makes me so happy. I consult in school where they have great big water coolers with cups on the side of it so that children can help themselves to water at any time. This is great and helps children to acquire healthy habits around drinking water.

More schools are signing up for my “Prevent Childhood Obesity” workshops and are making learning more about this topic a high priority. They are taking the initiative in learning how they can incorporate more movement and activities that require moving into their curriculums. Healthy eating and drinking and making sure children are consuming nutritious beverages and foods are also of great interest.

I’m sure that parents are really happy and grateful about these developments and also want to do more. In addition to making water more accessible at home and making sure that it is  the first option when children ask for something to drink you do have more options.


You would make these the same way that you make popsicles, only just add bottle or filtered water. You can go on sites like amazon and purchase 50 count popsicle sticks. You can probably buy the molds there too. Places like Bed and Bath and Walmart carry them too.


Many people choose this option especially in the Summertime. This is a nice way to include things like watermelons, cantaloupes and honey dew melons. It’s a great idea for children and adults for that matter to cut back on the amount of sugar they are consuming, so this would be a great option.


A time of the day where you make sure you and your child will drink water. It helps with digestion if water is drank right before a meal. It can also be after dinner or a meal or just a specific time that you set for example 6pm or 8am. You decide what works best for you. Don’t worry about the amount, right now you’re just creating the habit.


In our home we keep stacks of bottled water in the kitchen near the door so when we are rushing out in the morning we just grab a bottle and go. So you can do the same or put some water in your favorite thermos to save on recycling. Remember children are watching you all of the time so when they see you drinking more water, they are more likely to do the same.


The ice pops are a great option and easy to do and doesn’t require going out and getting additional items once you have the pop sticks. So give it a try. This is something you can do all year long not just the summer. In fact it’s a great idea to get started now before the really hot weather starts so that your child will be familiar with this already. Having a water time is a way for you to stop and take a break, in addition to drinking water. Let me know how it turns out for you. If you would like for me to hold a “Preventing Childhood Obesity ” workshop at your school or parenting organization please feel free to contact me at dtarelle@pitterpatterfeet.com Have an amazing day! :-)