Tuesday, January 6, 2009

JUMP into Asset Action!

Research says that there are 40 Developmental Assets (building blocks) that children need to succeed in life. Summertime provides a treasure trove of opportunities to build assets together! Here are some ways to promote healthy children and youth in the great outdoors:

o Build an obstacle course outside, and let the whole family practice going through it as a team. This is a great opportunity to show your family support for one another. (Asset #1)
o Plan a double family date, so your children can interact with other families. Try putt-putt, canoeing, hiking or going to a baseball game. This encourages your children to have healthy adult relationships with positive role models. (Asset #14)
o Host a popsicle or watermelon party, so families can get to know one another. This helps to build a caring neighborhood. (Asset #4)
o Mow lawns, plant flowers, or pick up trash in your neighborhood - helping neighbors is a great way to be outside, enjoy the sunshine and help out elderly neighbors who may have trouble doing all their yard work. It’s also a great way to practice the asset of caring (Asset #26) and help your children see themselves as a resource to the community. (Asset #8)
o Break out the sidewalk chalk and do a chalk drawing about your favorite family activities. This builds the ‘creative activity’ asset, the asset least practiced by most children. (Asset #17)
o Take a blanket to the park - enjoy a picnic, playing Frisbee or reading a book. This promotes family time, as well as reading for pleasure. (Asset #25)
o Go on family walks together in the evenings or on the weekends. This promotes positive family communication and wellness. (Asset #2)