Tag Archive | Rookie Moms

10 Lessons on How to Stay Active as a Family

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your family active, take a step back before you attempt to go 100 mph forward and read the 10 most important things we learned in 2012 about moving as a family.

1.  Physical activity is more important than weight loss. Being active improves both your physical and mental health, and how your body feels is more important than how your body looks. Especially when you’re a kid.

2.  Finishing first is not the most important part of running a race. So when your video-game-loving kindergartner wants to run a one-mile race, make sure you believe in him. He’s going to finish.


3.  Moving doesn’t have to be serious. You can get a healthy dose of exercise while having fun playing games like ant hospital and toilet tag. Yep, those are real games. Seriously. Continue reading

How to Play Gaga Ball (and Other Games We Never Played as Kids)

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

My son is an active grade-schooler and embraces each new P.E. game to which he is exposed with gusto. Nearly every day, he tells me about another “sport” that I’ve never heard of; gaga ball, ant hospital, and toilet tag are a few that had me puzzled. I suspected he was just making these names up.

When I was a kid, we played games like freeze tag and kickball. Need more cooperation? What about red rover or tug-of-war? While I know that these games still exist, there are a bunch of new games that are played on the school yards today. So if any of you parents are, like me, from the dark ages of last century and need a little primer, I’ve got a cheat sheet for you.

Gaga ball is like fast-paced dodge ball played in a mini-arena, called a pit. Players can hit the ball but not catch or throw. Originally played in Isreal and popularized in the US by Jewish daycamps, here is a review of the rules thanks to Wikipedia: Continue reading

Exercising to be a Role Model

By Whitney from Rookie Moms

I’m a 39-year old mother of two and I fit into my clothes just fine. True, I don’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow– who sports those same credentials — in my bathing suit, but my weight is healthy and my energy level is decent, I think. Still, I know that exercising is an important habit to embrace, and not only that, it’s my responsibility to model good behavior for my children.

How I envy my husband who took up running two years ago with dedication. He’s made it a ritual and leaves his workout clothes just outside of our bedroom door before he goes to sleep so that he can sneak out in the morning without waking me. Mostly I have slept through this routine he’s developed. Or I stir to the sound of his leaving just enough to slip feelings of guilt into my brain as I enjoy my last thirty minutes of “sleep.” What I’m actually doing is keeping my eyes closed and thinking about how I should squeeze into my sports bra and fire up my Jillian Michaels DVD.

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Getting Your Kids Active: How My Son Became a Football Fanatic

By Whitney from RookieMoms.com

Today my son Julian is a football fanatic, memorizing player statistics, playing catch with his dad in the backyard, and dreaming of becoming the fastest sprinter in his school. But it wasn’t always this way. Last year Julian didn’t like sports, let alone want to play them himself, or care about catching such things as the touchdown pass. Last summer Heather’s son Holden went to sports camp, and I told Julian that there are camps where you do eight sports each day, knowing pretty well he’d hate that idea. He looked at me with amazement and disgust.

At that time, he spent his recesses sitting on the bench with his female best friend discussing the detailed characteristics of their Webkinz, a set of plush animals with online lives. They enjoyed this fun virtual world they were imagining together, and I had no problem with it. He attended science camp all summer and avoided kick ball games by hanging out with the counselors, making friendship bracelets.

I’m not really a sports person myself, but I worried that he was missing out on important social skills like the ability to join group games or play catch. I didn’t have to worry for long. Last fall, everything changed. Continue reading

A Parent’s Guide to Sports Camp

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

Zamzee gets ready for sports camp

The Olympics have been going full-swing for a week now. And as I’m watching these amazing athletes, I’m just wondering: what’s it like being the parent of an Olympian? How do they coordinate things like carpool and equipment for sports practice – for years and years and years?

I’ve signed my son up for sports camp this year in hopes that he’ll burn off tons of energy each day and come home with that good, tired feeling. If he develops proficiency (or even excellence!) in a sport that becomes a long-term passion for him, well that’s a bonus. This is the second year I’ve enrolled him in this particular program which includes eight sports in a single day (!), and here’s what I’ve learned. Whether you’re sending your child off for a day of soccer, gymnastics, tennis or all three, here are some things to remember:

  1. Water. Every morning, I fill a sports bottle for Holden. He gets frequent water breaks but the line at the water fountain is long– too long, he reports, to adequately hydrate. For the car trip home, I sometimes bring a spray mist bottle if it’s been a very hot day. I can spritz him right in the face.  (Quirky tip: I recently learned that my son prefers drinking from a SQUIRT GUN. Would that work for your kid?) Continue reading

5 Olympic Cheers for Little Sports Fanatics

By Whitney from RookieMoms.com

Olympic Torch Relay - Eastbourne

Photo courtesy of Vicburton’s Flickr stream (http://ow.ly/cx0i0)

As my 7-year old son has developed the skill to watch televised sporting events and follow the mechanics of the game play, it has amused me to no end to see him leap off the couch and yell, “KICK A FIELD GOAL!” or “3-POINTER!” Are some kids just born with the scream-at-the-television gene?

When my husband gave him the side of a cardboard box to make a sign for our Super Bowl party, he drew a huge D, followed by a plus sign and an odd line drawing that we eventually determined was a fence; it was a cartoon representation of D+FENCE. Pretty smart for a first grader, if I do say so myself.

We’re caught up in the Olympic spirit and planning to cheer on Team USA for the next few weeks. I thought it would be fun to teach my son some cheers or chants that go with various sports.  Here are a few I collected from the Internet, but I’d love it if you add your favorites in the comments. Continue reading

5 Indoor Games for when it’s Hot, Hot, Hot!

By Heather from RookieMoms.com

Being active in the summertime on those sweltering days can be a challenge. Sometimes all you want to do is sneak into an air-conditioned movie theater and slurp sodas while a blockbuster movie does the work for you.

Here are a few enjoyable ways to keep your body moving while you hide from the heat.

Hula Hoop the Heat! (Image sourced from the Independent.)

Hula Hoop

Grab your hoop, clear some space, and get twirling. For novice hoopers, clip your zamzee to your waistband and try to keep the hoop spinning around your middle.

If that gets too easy, try some maneuvers around your arms, legs or neck. Or you can add more hoops to your middle. All of these motions are good exercise


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