Embracing the New
Spring is here, a season marked by joyous renewal. In honor of the spirit of rejuvenation, we are devoting this month’s newsletter to some activities you and your little one may be interested in exploring. New experiences in and of themselves challenge the mind and body, but certain activities, such as yoga, ballroom dance, and theater are known for improving concentration, social skills and overall well-being, both physically and emotionally.
Yoga for Kids
Yoga for youngins has been getting a lot of attention lately, with new programs popping up all over, including classes in both private and public schools. Why? Well, the benefits are clearly apparent. Yoga teaches both young and old how to quiet the mind, breathe more effectively and focus on their bodies. What this means for kids is they develop useful stress management skills early, along with a respect for their bodies and their minds. Not to mention the fact that yoga has been proven to improve health by increasing both strength and flexibility at a natural pace.
Another benefit of yoga for kids is that it truly is for anyone. If your child doesn’t want to practice yoga in a big group, they don’t have to. The two of you can watch videos and learn some new poses together in the privacy of your home. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, you might feel a bit silly, but what better way to bond with your tot while getting a workout in! Also, no one is too young or too old for yoga. With a little research, I’m sure you could find a local class for your infant as easily as one for your teen, or your grandmother for that matter.
Remember that documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” about that inner city dance program that changed all those kids’ lives? Well, if you haven’t and you need proof of just how great ballroom dancing is for kids, check it out. Not only is ballroom dancing a fantastic workout, but it also improves both discipline and concentration through memorizing and executing choreography. Whether you’re on a competitive team or just taking a class, dancing with peers builds social skills and boost in confidence. (Once they get over not being able to look their partner in the eye. You remember how it was.) Plus, down the road, when your kid is the one everyone stops to watch as they take over the dance floor at weddings, they’ll thank you.
You may not remember what you learned in your 6th grade math class. But, if you were in the class play, I’m guessing you know exactly what role you played and how it felt to be up there on that stage.
Theater is memorable for a reason, particularly for kids. Not only does it employ necessary rehearsal and memorization of both words and movement, it is one of the strongest activities in the arts for social building. Once your little one is on that stage and the curtain goes up, it’s up to them and their peers to work together to bring the story to life. The experience can be both exhilarating and terrifying, but the amount of hard work, fun, problem solving, and sheer bravery that goes into a performance will forever embed the experience in their long-term memory, just like it did you. And let’s face it, every kid deserves their moment in the limelight, even if they are Shepherd Number 2.
And Have Fun!
Whatever new experience you and your child decide to take a chance on this spring, we hope you enjoy it and keep the adventurous spirit alive. New challenges keep our minds sharp and engaged, and a healthy mind does amazing things for our overall wellbeing.