Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Make a checklist for your kids

Eating at least one piece of fruit was part of the checklist the kids were asked to complete.

Last week I had my first ever CORE Kids Summer camp in Rossnowlagh. I couldn’t have asked for a better week. The kids were brilliant, the weather was first class and the effort from our coaches and my own family to help run the event was second to none.

At the end of the first day of camp I gave each child a CORE kids checklist. This list consisted of eight points which were;
1. Make your bed
2. One thing you are grateful for
3. Eat at least one fruit and one vegetable
4. Tell a family member that you love them
5. No phone or TV for one hour
6. Read for five minutes at night
7. Sleep nine-10 hours
8. (This one I left blank for the children to fill one in for themselves)

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The whole idea of this checklist is to help our kids follow a daily routine which consists of good habits. I asked each child to try and check off at least three points each day and encouraged them to get their first point by making their bed.

This meant that children were able to complete their first task before the camp even started. If they weren’t able to do any of the other tasks at least they would go to bed at night knowing that they had ticked off that one thing.

The response we got from the kids and their parents each morning of the camp was amazing. Before the camp started we got the kids in as one big group and went through the checklist, the majority of them had completed their three tasks the previous day.

These children were as young as four and to see them by the end of the week keeping their hand up when I went through the list was great. The feedback from the parents was also positive and they found it very useful when getting the kids to eat their greens.

These routines and habits are things we could all live by but instilling them into our young children means we are helping them develop the concept of good routines and healthy habits.

Most families have their own routines – you can probably think of something you can add or take away that will not only benefit your child but your whole family. Pick one thing from the list above and add in one extra task each week.

Sit down with your children and come up with the tasks together, even let them pick out some habits for you or better still some that you could take away.

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