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Inspiring Healthy Habits for Children with Back to School and After Care Programming

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Inspiring healthy habits for children through back to school programming this fall.

Back to school and after school programs are not only a good retention tool, but are an essential resource for many families. They are also a place where a child can spend time playing and staying physically active. It is important when creating your back to school and after school programming to incorporate fun, physical fitness resources as a way to improve a child’s overall well-being

At the Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Pennsylvania, we offer a wide variety of programming for all ages that are designed to keep children active, social and in-touch with a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.

Back to School Programming: School’s Out Camps

School’s out camp provides a unique child care option for parents of children ages three to 12. These camps align with our local school district calendars when schools are off. Each camp day has a theme plus one hour of recreational swim in our indoor pool. These programs run during the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with before and after care options available.

These in-person days are an excellent way to help children expand upon existing skills and try new ones for the very first time. Our programs include activities that incorporate STEAM, art, cooking, physical activity and more. During these camp days, children have the opportunity to try new sports, games and camp themes all while given the opportunity to find a new passion.

After School Programming: Kids Fitness Classes

This coming fall through spring, we will be offering 75 to 100 different kids classes a week for children between the ages of one and 14. Our kids’ fitness classes are designed to create a welcoming, fun and enriching environment to guide children in exploring new and existing interests, as well as promote exercise at an early age.

Some of the new classes youth director, Sam Lipoff, is working on to incorporate will include Pilates for ages 10-plus, family 6-Zone, an aerial yoga series and wellness classes for kids ages eight and older to instill the concept of a health body and healthy mind.

back to school

Benefits of Offering After School Programming

Improves Mental Health and Well-Being

Adding a consistency of regular physical activities to your programs will allow children the opportunity for their minds and bodies to become familiar with some of the positive mental effects of exercise, and how they can prevent you from feeling tired and/or unproductive. During exercise, our brains let out powerful endorphins that release positive energy leaving us with an overall sensation of feeling good.

Creates Structure and Routines

Consistency in routines is a very important tool for children to learn. If exercise is incorporated into a daily program’s curriculum after school, children will recognize physical activity is important. Then, it will become a natural habit for them to want to continue.

Making Connections

When children attend after school programs that offer a variety of themes and activities, it provides the opportunity for them to connect with peers over shared interests.

Builds Confidence

Providing group settings for children will naturally help boost confidence. Offer activities where children can play in teams, be hands-on and use problem-solving skills to communicate with others. Children will become more self-assured, self-reliant and develop inner strength.

Improves Social and Emotional Skills

When providing programs for group settings, kids must work as a team, learn to communicate effectively and play fair. By repeatedly using these skills they develop over time, it allows children to incorporate those social and emotional skills and transpire into their everyday life.

back to school

There is a long term pay off when physical activity is incorporated in back to school and after school program settings. Besides physical well-being, after school programs assist in boosting mental well-being in children.

After school programs are more important now than ever. They help provide a safe and nurturing outlet for children as they are dealing with bigger feelings at a young age. Offering a wide variety of programs for children will teach them the importance of physical activity and cultivate healthy habits. It will also provide them with the necessary tools to take care of their minds and bodies as they grow that they will use long into the future.

Photos courtesy of Newtown Athletic Club.

Brianne Feinour

Brianne Feinour (known as ‘Ms. Brie’) is the summer camp director at Camp NAC, located at the Newtown Athletic Club. She has a masters degree in Public Health and Nutrition from West Chester University and is a Reiki Master. Brianne previously worked as a WIC nutritionist, which not only helped with children, but families as a whole. She has experience working with and providing care to children of various ages and understands the importance of interacting with children and their families in a positive manner. This year she will be entering her fourth summer with Camp NAC. Brianne's passion is working with children and helping them become their unique individual and teaching them self love at a young age. Her philosophy is, "healthy body, healthy mind, healthy soul."

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