This weekend, across the country will throw open their doors and invite everyone in the community to come in, get active and have fun, at no charge.
Saturday is the official Healthy Kids Day, when 1,900 YMCAs nationwide will host free events to help kids “get up, get out and grow.” More than half a million parents and kids are expected to participate.
The reason behind the initiative is simple: The YMCA has recognized that there is a need, especially during this time of year, to encourage kids to be active and remind them that they shouldn’t crash on the couch just because school is out. Research shows that kids are more prone to gain weight and experience reduced mental stimulation during summer months. The Y maintains that summer should be a time for active play and exploration for all kids, and Healthy Kids Day is a way to inspire and encourage kids to stay involved in those sorts of activities throughout June, July and August.
“The YMCA is committed to having healthy kids in our communities as we look at ways to decrease childhood obesity,” said Betty Linko, chief operating officer at North Penn and Indian Valley branch YMCAs, which are celebrating Healthy Kids Day with a whole weekend of free activities, which “are designed to inspire our youth to get involved and stay healthy,” Linko said.
Elsewhere in our area, local YMCA branches are offering games, sports, swimming, arts and crafts, exercise classes, contests, triathlons, healthy snacks, demonstrations and more, all free and open to families and kids of all ages, and anyone who wishes to participate. Offerings vary by location.
“[At Ambler Area YMCA,] families will enjoy activities, such as playtime on the moon bounce, unique sports activities, an art project with Home Depot and other fun projects,” said Joe Klenk, senior director of membership and marketing at Ambler Area YMCA. “Over 30 organizations will be in attendance, hosting special activities and providing information for kids and families.”
Check out the Healthy Kids idea-a-day calendar to find daily challenges kids and families can take on to strengthen their minds and bodies every day. Bookmark the site and count down to Healthy Kids Day!
Find out more about Healthy Kids Day and scheduled events at your local YMCA:
– April 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Abington – April 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
North Penn/Indian Valley – April 27-29
Audubon – April 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
– April 28, noon to 2 p.m.
Pottstown – April 28, 8:45 a.m. to noon