The South Shore YMCA celebrated the return of its annual Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 30, 2022, encouraging families to take a moment to help kids be kids and set them up for a summer of success. Hundreds attended the day-long event at the Hale Family YMCA (Quincy) and Emilson Y branches, with activities such as bounce houses, games, “Touch-a-Truck” with local emergency and construction vehicles, family fitness classes, family swim, arts and crafts, camp and swim lesson information, healthy snacks, and even Family Farm Fun Time – all to motivate families to be active with their kids and develop healthy routines at home.
Each year, Y’s across the country host Healthy Kids Day events. These free community-wide events are intended to help families kick off summer with a reminder of how important it is for kids to stay active physically and mentally throughout the summer.
Our new Hale Family YMCA (Quincy) Executive Director, Katelyn Szafir, a mother of two herself, shared her team’s excitement at the return of Healthy Kids Day this year. “We are so excited to have this event back after it had been canceled during COVID. It feels like a breath of fresh air and a return to ‘regular’ family life for our Y kids and community.”
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. The South Shore Y plans the event as a way to get more kids moving and learning, creating healthy habits they can continue while they’re away from the classroom. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than during the school year. Healthy Kids Day is a reminder to families that we can help ensure all children have access to what they need to reach their full potential, even during out-of-school time.
Since learning and being active in natural outdoor surroundings is beneficial for kids in spirit, mind, and body, the Y added some environmental and farming fun into the day with a Family Farm Fun Time at the South Shore YMCA Family Farm in Hanover. Families were invited to dig and play in the dirt, learn how the farm grows delicious, healthy produce, and enjoy some fun farm activities together with children. Family Farm Fun Time is offered every weekend, and the Y invites the South Shore community to join in the fun all spring and summer long.
“We are thrilled that so many Y families and friends came out to celebrate the return of Healthy Kids Day,” said Emilson YMCA Executive Director, Dan Berry. “It was such a joy to see so many smiling faces and hear laughter from so many children playing together with their families. This is what the Y is all about.”