Surviving the Back-to-School balance and encouraging kids to stay active!
Growing up, soda was a rare treat for us. Although my parents usually had some sort of soda on hand, we weren't allowed to have it except for the rare occasion like holidays, birthdays, or the few times we went out for dinner. My favorite has always been Dr Pepper! Ice cold. If you're a kid of the 70's and 80's, you remember the commercials, don't ya?! Everyone who was anyone wanted to be a Pepper, too!!
When I was in high school, I discovered Snapple Peach Tea. It really was some of the best stuff on earth. You can imagine my surprise when I learned that it was owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple company! And that's just the beginning of all of awesome drinks they make!! Mott’s, Yoo-hoo, and Hawaiian Punch, are all part of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, too! Who knew they offered so much variety?!
I love how convenient and easy it is to grab a few Yoo-hoo chocolate drinks on our way to one of our many homeschool co-op activities! Kids just love the classic chocolate flavor! When it's out turn for snack-time with the co-op, Mott's Apple Juice is an easy and portable choice that I know all of the kids will enjoy! When the kids want to head up to the park to shoot some hoops, you can be sure you'll find a few Hawaiian Punch pouches tucked in their pockets or sports bags!
When people find out that we're a homeschooling family, we're almost always asked why we decided to homeschool. The answer is for so many reasons. A big one being how schools are so much different from when Brian and I were kids. Don't get me wrong, change isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in this case, we just didn't agree with the direction many schools in our area were going.
When Brian and I were younger, we were encouraged to burn off our energy at school - I remember having 3 or 4 recess times a day in elementary school! A day!! Most kids today are lucky to have that many recess periods in a week!! And what makes it worse in my opinion, is so many kids are actually punished by taking away that limited play time .... which having adequate play time is just as important as structured schoolwork for proper development. Couple this with non-stop testing, sub-standard buildings and equipment, not enough resources for students to have the tools they need to succeed ... homeschooling was just an obvious choice for us. I still worry if their needs are being met - are they being challenged enough - will they have the skills they need to succeed in life?!
I know when it comes to physical activity, it's not always easy to keep kids motivated or interested. As we begin another school year, families are often pulled in many directions. We have a million and one things to squeeze into a day, and with finding the balance between work, school, after-school activities and homework, it can be difficult to find the time to make sure kids are fitting in active play. In fact, a new survey from Let’s Play, found that only 33 percent of children participate in daily active play – a decrease from 41 percent in 2015.
It is your child’s job to be active every day! The learning and growth gained from being active is important for developing important physical, social, language, emotional and intellectual skills. It can also directly impact your child’s ability to deal with the situations and challenges they will meet later in life.
Let’s Play is an initiative launched by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group to make play a daily priority. In partnership with nonprofit organizations, Let’s Play is working hard to eliminate the ‘play deficit’ by building more play spaces and improving current play spaces. They are also providing grants for athletic equipment and gear to help promote play. For more information, please visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
As part of its Let’s Play initiative to make play a daily priority, Dr Pepper Snapple Group sought to uncover just how much play kids are getting and what’s preventing more active daily play by surveying parents nationwide. Below are a few interesting findings from the 2016 State of Play Survey:
- Only 33 percent of children are participating in active play daily.
- On days when their kids do play, 86 percent of parents report that active play time averages 30 minutes or more – not on par with the CDC recommendation, but not bad.
- Of the kids who do play daily, there is a significant drop in daily active play at age 5, when many children enter Kindergarten, from 50% of 4-year- olds to only 31% of 5-year-olds. The decline in daily play is most visible among children ages 5-8.
- Watching television (78%)
- Playing on/using a computer or electronic device (71%)
- Doing homework falls to the bottom of the list (51%)
With increasingly high demands for children’s schedules, active play is often put at the bottom of the list of things to do for one reason or another. Survey findings show several barriers to play according to parents:
Busy schedules, technology and costs/fees remain the biggest barriers to active play.
- Technology (64%)
- Busy Schedules (64%)
- Cost of Sports Equipment/Participation (55%)
- No Playmates (53%)
- Focus on Academics (46%)
- Safety Concerns - Neighborhoods unsafe (33%)
- Not enough safe/well-maintained play spaces at school/after-school programs (32%)
To learn more about Dr Pepper Snapple Group and its iconic brands, please visit www.DrPepperSnapple.com. You can also follow Dr Pepper Snapple Group on social media at www.Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or www.Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.