Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville

A little boy playing with dinosaurs

Power Off and Play! Blog

To help kids build a balanced day, follow the screen-time guidelines! Check out weekly posts for ideas to help kids Power Off and Play!

Screen Time Guidelines

Power Off and Play by Cycling!

A mother and daughter cycling together.

June is Bike Month! Riding a bike is a great opportunity for kids to be active. Cycling helps to develop kids strength, balance, and decision making skills, and boosts self-confidence and independence. It is also a great way to get kids out in nature, which has many additional health benefits, such as improved mood. Cycling allows kids to explore and interact with their surroundings, which helps kids to connect with their community. We can encourage kids to cycle in the following ways:

Help kids Power Off and Play by building a balanced day!

Power Off and Play! At your Local Library

A mother reading to her daughter.

Creative activities, like reading, give kids the chance to use their imagination and further their learning. Reading boosts brain development by helping kids to develop communication skills, build their vocabulary, and improve comprehension. Make reading a part of your kids’ daily routine. Consider reading together: Let your kid hold the book and turn the pages. Encourage them to find letters and words, and to read to you. Try to connect the story to your kid’s life, such as “Remember when…”, and “We saw one of those at…”. Reading out loud with your kid is also a great way to spend time as a family, to learn about family culture, values and interests, and to deepen family bonds.

Visit your local library where you can find a diverse collection of books. Allow kids to choose their own books to borrow, or pick up books based on a theme: weather, holiday, colours, etc. Join an event at the library, such as Storytime, where your family can meet others and participate in singing, reading and other activities.

Many of the libraries in Leeds and Grenville also offer other lending material and activities/programs such as:

All public library branches throughout Leeds and Grenville offer MAPsacks (Movement and Play sacks). Funded in part by the province of Ontario, each themed sack is filled with information guides, books, outdoor gadgets and free passes to local parks and conservation areas.

There are many options at the library to encourage kids to Power Off and Play! Check your local library to see what is available near you!

Turn Car Rides into Screen-Free Time

Screen-Free Car Ride

Kids and families may need to spend long periods of the day in the car or on a bus, whether it be driving to school, daycare, recreational activities or running errands. Sometimes, kids use this time to play on screen, whether it be watching a movie, or playing a game on a cellphone. In an effort to reduce the amount of time kids spend on screen, we can turn car rides into screen-free time. Even short car rides can turn into a fun, learning experience for all!

Help kids Power Off and Play by building a balanced day!

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids moving! They can be played indoors or out, in every season and tailored to different ages. With the long weekend around the corner, here are some ideas to expand on the traditional scavenger hunt:

Take turns hiding and finding objects at a local park, or in your own backyard. Consider opportunities where kids may need to climb, crawl, roll, balance on and jump over objects.

Have kids find objects based on a colour (find 3 blue items), shape (find 2 square items) or a letter from the alphabet (find 4 items that start with the letter M).

Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Have kids find items based on:

Encourage kids to develop their own list of items to find: this allows kids to use their imagination and creativity. Ask them to write the items down or draw its picture.

Introduce your family to geocaching, which uses GPS to locate treasures. Several communities allow you to borrow GPS devices, such as the Brockville Library, and North Grenville Public Library.

Help kids Power Off and Play by building a balanced day!

Create with Snow!

Children in Snow

Creative activities give kids a chance to use their imagination and further their learning. It also allows for more face-to-face time which is good for their social and mental wellbeing. Encourage kids to bring their creativity outside! The snow provides a unique opportunity for play and to let loose their inner artist! Here are a few ideas to create with snow:

Help kids Power Off and Play by building a balanced day!

Power Off and Play! This March Break

Let's help kids to Power Off and Play this March Break! When kids are active, they build stronger muscles and bones, and have better coordination, self-confidence, focus and attention. By bringing play outside, kids will naturally move more and longer. Being outside in nature has added health benefits, such as improving self-esteem and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Here are some ideas to help keep kids active:

For winter safety tips, including appropriate clothing for outdoor play, visit Parachute Canada.

Help kids Power Off and Play by building a balanced day!