Our local library system was celebrating Art IS Education this month.
As part of Art IS Education, Alameda County Library is presenting 50 free arts events for youth and families. Many of these events focus on the theme “Creating a Better Future Together” encouraging library patrons young and old to explore through the arts ways we can create healthy lives, thriving families, peaceful communities and a green planet.
One of the resources they provided was a list of books that helped support the ideas about exercising, the environment and different types of art. Several of them looks interesting and since my 4 year old’s preschool recently finished their “Race For Education” run and my daughter is excited about exercising I had to check this one out. It starts off with Miss Fox noticing her students are so tired they fall asleep in class, have a hard time climbing up stairs and are not eating healthy foods. She makes a decision to try and help her class shape up. They talk about things the students can do to help each other and activities they can do at home with their families to become healthier.
I really enjoyed reading this with my daughter because we have been cutting back on the amount of TV she watches and she has been complaining about why. Between reading this book and watching an episode of Sid the Science Kid (I know it’s a tv show but all in moderation right?) about how your body needs to exercise to stay healthy she has become much more cooperative. She also finds it funny how one student doesn’t want to eat carrots as a healthy snacks because those are one my daughter’s favorite snacks. Fortunately my daughter is pretty good about eating her vegetables so this isn’t an area we struggle in too much.
This was a fun book to read with my daughter and I am glad I came across it in the suggestion list from my library otherwise it’s not likely to have been one I would have picked up while browsing.
One of the activities the book mentions several times is riding your bicycle with your family. Since we finally had a break in the rain I dragged my husband out of the house and told him we were taking the kids walking. I wanted to take the kids to a park nearby called Coyote Hills because my daughter has a fascination with “mountains” (hills qualify as mountains in her mind so this park was perfect.) and it was a place I used to enjoy riding my bicycle before I had kids.
So off we went. My daughter on her bicycle and I pushed our son in our jogging stroller.
I was impressed by how far she did manage to ride by herself and although she was getting tired we did make it to the picnic spot to have some lunch.
The kids caught their second wind and wanted to go hiking up the path above the picnic area. It wasn’t the most stroller friendly so we ended leaving behind the stroller & bicycle hoping they would still be there when we came back. At one point the path got too steep for my 20 month old so I did end up having to carry him (talk about getting exercise in!)
Once we reached the top of the peak there was a great view and the kids loved looking out at the water. We could also see herds of sheep grazing on the other side of the hill which got my son really excited as he started to “baa” and yell “sheep, sheep!”. We also found a couple lizards/salamanders? crawling around the rocks, several butterflies which my daughter loves and even a few turkey vultures flying around.
As we were afraid of our daughter was tuckered out by time we climbed back down and my husband ended up carrying her on his shoulders and carrying her bicycle back to the car. I told him at least if we take them out here more often either our daughter’s stamina will increase enough for her to be able to ride longer or his stamina will increase enough that it’s not so tiring carrying her and her bicycle.
What are your favorite ways of enjoying the outdoors and getting the family to exercise together?