During the month of September, the NCRPA Wellness Initiative is recognizing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by spreading information and increasing awareness of childhood obesity across the state of North Carolina. After all, it is part of our mission to encourage healthier lives in our communities!
In relation to becoming more physically active, NCRPA is pleased to announce that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and NCRPA have collaborated to build healthier communities by providing grants to install PlayPrints at outdoor spaces across the state. PlayPrints grants have been awarded to over forty local park and recreation departments across the state. What exactly are PlayPrints? Playprints are markings of colorful shapes, images and games painted on open pavement! For more information, please the recent NCRPA PlayPrints press release!
PlayPrints are a creative way to encourage more physical activity at your local parks! Do not fret if you are a community without PlayPrints! Chalk is a great alternative and can even help encourage the creative side of children when you leave it up to them to craft their own designs! Although PlayPrints are permanent and will generate more activity from passive users, chalk will help spark some ideas and can be versatile in a place or instances where a permanent design won’t work. The following are three ideas to get children involved and active at a park! Hopscotch is a great way to encourage children to actively use designs on the ground; have the children come up with patterns or play follow the leader. Four Square is another great way to have multiple kids involved in a game at once! It encourages healthy competition and needs limited equipment, all you need is a bouncy ball! Finally ask participants to create a small obstacle course using the markings on the ground! Have them jump, skip, crawl or balance on the lines on the ground! Don’t be afraid to get creative and find alternative games for children to play! If you did receive a PlayPrints grant you can use sidewalk chalk to create supplemental games and patterns to go along with your PlayPrints during programs or events. Remember the goal is to simply get our communities active and moving!
If you have ideas or suggestions of promoting activity within your local parks, then please share by submitting or emailing us on the wellness site here: (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)