Run. Jump. Play. Every day. Healthy Kids Community Challenge is launching several new initiatives this spring, encouraging kids to get outside and get active.
Collingwood Healthy Kids Community Challenge, in partnership with local school and community organizations, is promoting outdoor active play through initiatives including geocaching, a mobile park program, StoryWalk, Bike Month, Walk or Wheel Wednesdays and the new Collingwood Outdoor Activity Passport.
"Kids are more active when they are outside, moving more and playing longer," said Jennifer Parker, Collingwood Healthy Kids Community Challenge local project manager.
It is recommended that children between the ages of five and 17 participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity.
"Healthy kids build healthy communities. Getting outside and being active is important for our physical health but also for our mental health," said local family physician Dr. Wade Mitchell, a Healthy Kids Community Challenge Champion.
Some of the exciting events planned for this spring include:
Using a GPS device or mobile phone, Collingwood residents and visitors will soon be able to explore the trails in search of hidden caches, containing a journal to record your finding and a treasure to trade. A geocaching passport will help participants track their progress as they search for the 42 caches positioned along the trail system starting this May.
"Geocaching is a great way to discover Collingwood's trail system and have fun," said Melissa Stewart, health promoter with the Georgian Bay Family Health Team
Collingwood Outdoor Activity Passport
The Collingwood Outdoor Activity Passport provides kids and families with great ideas for getting outside and having fun. Passports will be given to Collingwood elementary school students and children enrolled in Early Childcare Centres. There will also be the option of downloading a passport from the Healthy Kids Community Challenge website.
Mobile Park Program
The mobile park program will be visiting neighbourhood parks throughout the spring and summer. An exciting component of the park program is the Imagination Playground, a mobile block-based play system encouraging active and collaborative play.
Located along the Train Trail, StoryWalk invites people to experience a great story, while being active and promoting physical activity and literacy for adults and children.
National Bike to School Day on May 4 and Bike to Work Day on May 20 are just two of the great events encouraging Collingwood kids and the community to consider walking or riding as methods of transportation. Schools have been supporting Walking or Wheeling Wednesday, recognizing those students and classes who are adding physical activity into their morning and afternoon routines by walking or wheeling to school.
Run. Jump. Play. Every Day. Kits
In partnership with Maximum Physiotherapy, Active Life Conditioning, the local health unit, Simcoe County District School Board and Georgian Wellness, Healthy Kids Community Challenge Collingwood is introducing activity kits into schools and the broader community. Kits are filled with interesting equipment and activity ideas focusing on agility, coordination and balance.
"As community champion, I'm excited to join Collingwood residents in trying out some of the great Healthy Kids Community Challenge activities planned for spring," said Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper. "The warmer weather will make it even easier to get out and get active. Let's enjoy all the opportunities for recreation and play in our community!"
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge team is looking forward to an active and exciting spring, and hopes to see you out at one of our many events!