April 21, YMCAs across the country celebrated Healthy Kids Day, a YMCA initiative to empower families to stay healthy over the summer. Over 1,500 YMCAs and over 1.2 million participants celebrate the event every year. Every Healthy Kids Day festival is full of educational and fun activities that teach families how to stay active and learning over the summer months.

Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. Healthy Kids Day is an event created to remind and educate families about the importance of fostering a child’s mental, physical and emotional health.

Every YMCA in the Channel Islands YMCA Association invited members of their community to enjoy the event. Here are a few highlights from the festivities.

Alexa and Camila Tomayo
Lompoc Family YMCA
201 West College Ave., Lompoc, CA 93436

Healthy Kids Day in Lompoc was a festival of learning and active fun. The Charlotte’s Web Bookmobile visited the YMCA and opened its doors to bookworms young and old. Kids also had a blast with the PE PLAY Circuit, Bingo prizes, Kids Zumba®, Youth Basketball and arts and crafts.

The YMCA also hosted a drawing contest called “Child Hunger is No Fairytale.” “Child Hunger is No Fairytale” asks children to think about their favorite fairytales and ponder how things would have gone a bit differently if the protagonists hadn’t been hungry. Children who attended Healthy Kids Day created their artwork around this subject.

The day was especially fun for sisters Alexa and Camila Tomayo, who won rockets from the Healthy Kids Day Prize Room after they completed their Bingo Card. Lompoc Vision and Lompoc Record had a few words to say about Lompoc’s popular community event.

Rob Tesdahl teaching robotics to kids.
Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA
900 North Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez, CA 93460

The YMCA in Santa Ynez shared activities that enriched the body and mind with a smoothie and juice bar, a booth representing the Solvang Library, and a table for robotics and STEM activities.

Rob Tesdahl, Robotics Club Instructor, show-cased the YMCA club and taught kids about how to make robots using Legos.

Member Engagement Specialist, Jayne Reepmaker, showed kids and families new recipes for healthy smoothies and juices.

Elihu Bogan
Santa Barbara Family YMCA
36 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

The Santa Barbara YMCA celebrated Healthy Kids Day with family Yoga and Zumba Classes, a four-square tournament and a barbecue.

Cat Myklebust got kids on their feet and dancing Zumba, and Trudy Paul brought everyone down to the Yoga mats with some healthy and calming Yoga.

Every kid also had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a bike (generously donated by YMCA Member Peter Osto). Elihu Bogan won the drawing for the bike. He also made his mark by printing his hand on the “I’M A HEALTHY KID” sign.

Larsen West
Montecito Family YMCA
591 Santa Rosa Ln., Montecito, CA 93108

The Montecito community came together at the YMCAs Healthy Kids Day to celebrate health and their community heroes. Among these community heroes was Chipper, the California Highway Patrol’s chipmunk mascot. Chipper and other Highway Patrol Officers handed out free toys to families who had been affected by the recent fires and mudslides. The toys were donated by Spin Master Toy Manufacturer. Montecito Journal covered the giveaway in their April 26 Issue (page 13).

Members from the Montecito Fire Department brought their trucks to show members of the community and families at Healthy Kids Day. Larsen West was given a Montecito Firefighter helmet and a Junior Firefighter sticker after meeting with the crew.

There were also numerous games and activities for kids to partake in at the event, including relay races and a rollerblading course. Joline Pulliam is one attendee who had fun skating her way through the course.

Ventura Family YMCA
3760 Telegraph Road, Ventura, CA 9303

Members of the Ventura community came together for a day of active play, with some help from NFL players  Terrail Lambert and Ronney Jenkins, at the YMCAs Healthy Kids Day event.

Lambert and Jenkins held a football clinic at the event to teach kids about football techniques. Attendees also participated in the Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run event where they had the chance to compete and advance to the next round and compete with other kids in the region

Kids also stayed active with a rock climbing wall and obstacle courses. See what Ventura Breeze had to say about the event!

Camarillo Family YMCA
3111 Village at the Park Drive, Camarillo, CA 93012

Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA in Camarillo encouraged community members to awaken their imaginations with a pirate-themed day and enrich their minds through STEM activities.

At the event, kids participated in a treasure hunt, a drawing, arts and crafts and games to get their imaginative juices flowing.

The nursing program from CSU Channel Islands visited and provided educational STEM activities for kids. These activities encouraged kids to explore educational activities, especially through the summer months.

You can find more stories about the Camarillo kids who attended Healthy Kids Day in Camarillo Acorn’s Article about the event.

How to Stay Healthy This Summer

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:

  • High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
  • Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
  • Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
  • Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
  • Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.

Want More Healthy Kids Day?

See our gallery here! Keep an eye out for Healthy Kids Day returning to the YMCA in 2019.

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