Children riding tricycles on playgroundFirst Lady, Michelle Obama’s national health initiative, “Let’s Move,” encourages physical activity for children and adults. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all Americans, including those with disabilities, need physical activity to support physical and emotional health. MAP’s Hot Topic for Summer 2011, “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body,” identifies resources and websites that provide strategies to support physical health and stress reduction with special attention to children and youth with disabilities.


In the News!



15 Fantastic Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

Studies have shown that children who practice mindfulness will experience better moods and a higher self-esteem. They may perform better academically and have improved social skills, like the ability to navigate and peacefully resolve conflicts. Mindfulness is also considered an effective tool to deal with anxiety and aggression. This article describes 15 ways to teach mindfulness and incorporates the key concepts into a poster.


Accessible Playgrounds

An accessible playground means it is as easy as possible for everyone to play, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Now, more than ever, to meet ADA and due to community pressure, playgrounds are being built with an eye towards accessibility and usability. Let Kid’s Play is thrilled to offer Accessibleplayground.net, the website and home for everything about accessible playgrounds. Here you will be able to:

  • Search for playgrounds in our directory
  • Educate yourself about accessible play
  • Read amazing stories of how others built their playground
  • Find resources on all aspects of designing and building a playground in your community, going beyond ADA
  • See pictures of recommended playgrounds in our Featured Playground area
  • Locate just the right vendors to help you design and build your playground
  • Discovery Playground

Alliance for Childhood

The Alliance for Childhood promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living. Our public education campaigns bring to light both the promise and the vulnerability of childhood. We act for the sake of the children themselves and for a more just, democratic, and ecologically responsible future.




California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 2

California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volume 2 (PDF; 11MB) includes the domains of visual and performing arts, physical development, and health. This companion publication to the California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 2, gives guidance to teachers about strategies for arranging the environment, selecting materials, and planning adult-led and child-initiated learning experiences that optimize children’s development, learning, and overall well-being. The document is also available on the CDE website.


Calm Down Yoga for Kids Poster

Simple yoga series to use as a calm down activity with your child. Be sure to read through Giselle’s suggestions for introducing the series, especially if you have never tried yoga with your child before.



Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC)

The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CECMHC) was funded as an Innovation and Improvement Project by the Office of Head Start in October 2008. The 3-year grant brings together a group of university researchers to develop strategies to help Head Start programs build a strong mental health foundation for their children, families and staff. The site houses resources for Head Start mental health consultants, staff, families, administrators and T&TA Providers.


Center for Healthy Minds

Founded by world-renowned neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson, the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a global leader in conducting novel research that has revolutionized how we understand the mind, our emotions, and how to nurture well-being for ourselves and others.



Childhood 101 and Kids Yoga Stories

Childhood 101 and Kids Yoga Stories, have teamed to create a simple yoga series to introduce you to yoga and use as a calm down activity with kids. The site offers the free downloadable poster and step by step suggestions for how to do the series.


Cosmic Kids!

We make yoga and meditation fun for kids. It’s all free on YouTube. Every day thousands of kids all around the world do it in their schools and front rooms. We’re a small team having fun trying to change the world.


Creating Equal Opportunities for Children and Youth to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics (PDF)

This OSEP policy clarification document is an official initial response by the Department of Education to the June 2010 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO-10-519) report noted below. The 20-page report contains a summary of suggestions to increase physical education and extracurricular athletic opportunities for students with disabilities including: accessibility, equipment, personnel preparation, teaching styles, management of behavior, program options, curriculum and assessment strategies (e.g., assessment instruments that compare the individual against herself or himself are able to measure both attainment and growth).


Edutopia

Edutopia is dedicated to transforming kindergarten through 12th-grade (K-12) education so all students can thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. We are focused on practices and programs that help students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, skills and beliefs to achieve their full potential.


Ellen Satter Institute: Helping Adults and Children be Joyful and Confident with Eating

Ellyn Satter is an internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. Practical, warm and empowering, Satter integrates her 40 years of experience in helping adults be more positive, organized and nurturing in caring for themselves and their children. She emphasizes competency rather than deficiency: providing rather than depriving: and trust rather than control. Her theoretically grounded and clinically sound methods allow the individual’s own capacity for effective and rewarding food behavior to evolve.


First 5 California has launched a Kids Station

The online music service “Pandora.” This fun new – and free – station targets parents and features music to encourage learning and physical activity Research shows that 90% of a child’s brain develops during the first 5 years of life – a large part of that during the very first year. First 5’s Pandora Station includes not only children’s music but also examples of other ways to engage and stimulate children’s brains — clapping, dancing, singing, humming!


Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

The Professional Development Center at FPG (PDC@FPG) provides people and organizations with opportunities to expand capacity, knowledge, and skills in areas related to child development and learning. PDC offerings are based on evidence-based content and strategies for supporting adult learners. Professional development options include: Institutes and Intensive Workshops, Online Learning, Technical Assistance Services, and Study Visits.

  • Select link to show Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Resources

    Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

    • Resources Within Reason
      Compiled by Camille Catlett and Erin E. Barton, this one page resource gives you easy access to the definition of inclusion, benefits of inclusion, research findings and access to essential examples of inclusion.
    • Mindfulness Helps Adults Overcome Childhood Adversity
      With significant implications for early childhood education, new research reveals that a mindful disposition is associated with alleviating lasting physical and emotional effects of childhood adversity. A team of scientists from Temple University, UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), Child Trends, and the Rockefeller University conducted the groundbreaking study—the first to examine relationships between childhood adversity, mindfulness, and adult health.
    • Teachers Play a Key Role in Program to Fight Childhood Obesity
      An innovative physical activities guide developed at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) is helping North Carolina fight childhood obesity. New research shows that when teachers direct these physical activities, young children become more active and less sedentary. A sample of activities from the Be Active Kids Guide to Early Childhood Physical Activity is available for download.

    Inclusive Practice

    • Baby Talk
      Resources to Support the People Who Work with Infants and Toddlers is a free newsletter by Camille Catlett, distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality and readily available at no cost.

    • Resources Within Reason
      Compiled by Camille Catlett and Erin E. Barton, this one page resource gives you easy access to the definition of inclusion, benefits of inclusion, research findings and access to essential examples of inclusion.
    • National Center on Early childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (ECDTL) Webinar Series on High Quality Inclusion
      • Webinar #1 Partnerships for Inclusion
      • Webinar #2 Supporting Participation for All Children: Essential Features of High-quality Inclusion
      • Webinar #3 Partnerships for Inclusion: Supports that Ensure High-Quality Inclusion

    Training & Technical Assistance

    • More Than Baby Talk 10 Ways to Promote The Language and Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers This brief guide describes ten practices that early childhood teachers can use to foster language and communication skills among infants and toddlers. The guidelines are based upon the latest research findings on optimal adult-child interactions for promoting strong language and communication skills among young children.
    • AFIRM Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Training Modules-How to use Visual Supports
      AFIRM Modules are designed to help you learn the step-by-step process of planning for, using, and monitoring an evidence-based-practices with learners with autism spectrum disorder from birth to 22 years of age. Supplemental materials and handouts are available for download.
    • Online Courses on Inclusion for CEUs
      “Foundations of Inclusion” module is free all other course are priced at $30 per participant.
    • Dual Language Learners: Strategies for Successful Opportunities in ECE- 2016 Free Training Module
      This free module provides an overview of the cognitive, social-emotional, and language development of dual language learners (DLLs) as well as examples of how early childhood professionals can support children. Through the content, videos, and reflection assignments, professionals will begin to identify ways to support DLLs in their own care settings.


Friendship Circle

Friendship Circle of Michigan is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. With over 75,000 visitors a month, the Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource blog is one of the biggest special needs blogs in the world. Currently the blog has over 500 articles on special needs topics including: parenting, special education, products, therapy tips, videos and more.


Greater Good Science Center (University of California, Berkeley)

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.


Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC): Nature Based Learning and Development

Children and the outdoors just go together – naturally! Outdoor play fosters connections with nature for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, families, staff, and communities. The benefits of active play in the natural world are endless. Current research indicates that children who regularly play outdoors are healthier, smarter, and happier. So what are you waiting for? Let’s expand those walls and take it outside!


Head Start: EarlyEdU Alliance

These learning modules are highlights of higher education courses from the EarlyEdU Alliance. EarlyEdU follows an innovative competency- and practice-based framework. If you are familiar with the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) 15-minute in-service suites, this approach will be familiar to you. These learning modules go a bit deeper than the in-service suites and combine theory and the latest early childhood education research with students’ field-based learning.

Four Modules from EarlyEdU Alliance:


health.gov: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans At-A-Glance: A Fact Sheet for Professionals is designed for busy professionals as a quick desk-side reference to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

These Guidelines are needed because of the importance of physical activity to the health of Americans, whose current inactivity puts them at unnecessary risk. The latest information shows that inactivity among American children, adolescents, and adults remains relatively high, and little progress has been made in increasing levels of physical activity among Americans.


Healthy Habits of Mind (Video)

Published: Oct 3, 2013 | 41:14 minutes

This film shows how kindergarteners in Oxford Elementary School in Berkeley, San Francisco are introduced to mindfulness in school. They practice mindful listening, mindful eating, mindful movement and yoga. Mindfulness is a way of being and one of the benefits is that it teaches how to pay attention. As a kindergartener your attention is required in order to learn how to read and write – often in an environment with a lot of external stimuli. Starting early with practicing these healthy habits of mind is a very good idea. Like learning to play an instrument it is much easier early on in life than later on in life. Includes interviews with Neuroscientist Richard Davidson and Mindful Schools Program Director Megan Cowan. Mindful Schools offers courses for educators, psychologists, and parents to learn mindfulness and use it with children and adolescents. Learn more at www.mindfulschools.org.



Inclusive Playgrounds in California

The following is a list of Inclusive Playgrounds in California:

In the process of being built:


Just Breathe (Video)

Published: Jan 26, 2015 | 3:41 minutes
This film is entirely unscripted. Children talk about their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. It’s instructive for us all!


KEEN Kids Enjoy Exercise Now

KEEN is a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. KEEN’s mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals.


Let’s Move

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Sure, this is an ambitious goal. But with your help, we can do it.

Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years, giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices, providing healthier foods in our schools, ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food and helping children become more physically active.


Let’s Move! Child Care

First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled Let’s Move! Child Care in June 2011 as a new effort to work with child care providers to help our youngest children get off to a healthy start. The First Lady released a fact sheet and checklist (PDF) that providers and parents can use as a tool to encourage healthy eating and physical activity and limit screen time for young children. The website, developed by Nemours, provides free, comprehensive resources and tools in Spanish and English.


Move International

MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education/Experience) helps children and adults with severe disabilities acquire more abilities (and independence) to sit, stand, walk and transition. This is achieved through instruction and adaptive equipment.

With these increased abilities, there is: 1) better health, 2) less burden for care providers to move or lift people, 3) more dignity, and 4) new opportunities for fuller participation and inclusion in family life, school and community. Life is no longer relegated to a bean bag, floor mat, wheelchair or bed.

MOVE is a research-based program shown to improve functional mobility skills and empower children and adults with severe physical disabilities to better direct their own lives.

Four school sites within the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Special Education Programs have been designated as Model Sites for the MOVE International Program and Curriculum for students with significant physical disabilities. SCOE is the first MOVE Model Site to be established in Northern California. As a MOVE Model Site, SCOE will implement the program throughout the county and serve as a demonstration and training site for this internationally acclaimed model


Nancy Stewart Children’s Music

This easy to navigate website provides free original and traditional music as “Song of the Month” offerings archived by categories including Read & Sing Songs, Finger Plays & Counting, Instruments & Rhythm, and Languages & Literacy. The Languages & Literacy songs feature several songs with instructions for American Sign Language and a few in Spanish. Related activity pages and instructions for making simple instruments are also available.


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

1313 L Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: 202-232-8777 or 800-424-2460
Fax: 202-328-1846
Email: naeyc@naeyc.org

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals and others dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education programs for children birth through age eight. NAEYC’s primary goals are to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education and to build public understanding and support for high-quality early childhood programs.


National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)

NCHPAD is an information center, supported by a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, concerned with physical activity and disability. Being physically active is good for every body. That’s a message you will find many times on this site. Being active is an important part of getting and staying healthy. One ‘must read’ item on this website is our monograph on Can Disability, Chronic Conditions, Health and Wellness Coexist? in which author June Kailles discusses the common confusion people have about the relationship between having a disability and being healthy. Once you realize that EVERY BODY needs some activity to get and remain healthy, you will find we have a great many resources to help you find how YOU can participate. We have information and resources for EVERYONE, to allow people with disabilities to participate as fully as they wish, become as active as they wish




PBS Parents: Why Yoga and Kids Go Together

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Yoga is a practice that started in India, and is now very popular in the United States and around the world. It has gained a lot of attention lately — maybe because it is a fun and easy way for both adults and kids to feel healthy and happy.



Policy Statement on Media and Young Minds

A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Media and Young Minds addresses the influence of media on the health and development of children from 0 to 5 years of age, a time of critical brain development, building secure relationships, and establishing health behaviors. It reviews the existing literature on variety of traditional and new technologies, their potential for educational benefit, and related health concerns for young children aged 0 to 5 years.


QuitDay.org

QuitDay is an independent, volunteer run organization which began as a collaboration between students from University of Washington and Portland State University. As part of an ongoing effort by United States universities to combat student and faculty smoking at institutions of higher education, they organized to provide smoking cessation resources available to anyone around the world. Their goal is to not only to end smoking in universities, but to provide education and support to individuals and families who are smoking who wish to quit smoking.

An estimated 41,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases as the result of Secondhand Smoke. The chemicals released from secondhand smoke pose a very real danger to those in the close proximity of a smoker.


Shane’s Inspiration Inclusive Playgrounds

Shane’s Inspiration is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “to create inclusive playgrounds and programs that unite children of all abilities.” They provide a free forty-five minute webinar titled, The Power of Inclusive Play, that provides ideas on developing enriching outdoor opportunities for all children using your own outdoor space and items that are easily accessible. Shane’s Inspiration Lunch Box is an awareness program that includes guides and materials for facilitating workshops as well as curriculum and resources to help in providing inclusive outdoor spaces in your program or playground.


SPARK

SPARK is a research-based, public health organization of San Diego State University Research Foundation (disseminated by School Specialty, Inc.) dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.

SPARK strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students.

See the Free Resources for:


Special Globe.com

Families of children with disabilities and special needs very seldom travel. The unknown challenges and fears are just too overwhelming. Meghan Harris founder of Special Globe.com and parent of a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder is trying to rectify that: It is our intent here at SpecialGlobe to gather any and all information about special needs travel under one roof where you can take your time to review and make decisions about what’s right for your family.



Stress Free Kids

Stress Free Kids© founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens and adults decrease stress, anxiety & anger. As a parent, bedtime meant two stressed filled hours trying to get our young son to sleep. Our daughter developed stress related night terrors and Lori herself became sick from anxiety. In an effort to help our own family, Lori created stories that would entertain our children while introducing research-based relaxation and stress management techniques.

Our books and CDs will introduce you and your children to the proven techniques of deep breathing, progressive muscular relaxation, visualizations, and affirmations/positive statements. This unique storytelling format has been embraced by psychologists, doctors, child life care specialists, yoga instructors, teachers, counselors, parents, and most importantly… children.


Stress Reduction and Yoga

Excerpt from Head Start Bulletin by Beverly Gould

Yoga is an effective way to release stress because it stimulates both the mind and the body.

Until recently, when most people thought about yoga, they had images of being bent into a pretzel. However, the ancient practice of yoga, with a history of 5,000 years, is more than convoluted exercises. It improves our physical and emotional health. Movie stars, models, athletes, politicians, as well as everyday people, attest to its benefits. Furthermore, research affirms that yoga is a stress reducer.


TEAM California for Healthy Kids

Your resource for making healthy choices the easy choices! Research confirms the clear connection between health, learning, and attendance. In support of this, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, has initiated Team California for Healthy Kids (TCHK) to promote healthy eating and physical activity throughout the day, every day, in schools, before and after school programs, early childhood programs and communities.


U.S. Government Accountability Office: Students With Disabilities More Information and Guidance Could Improve Opportunities in Physical Education and Athletics

Research has established that physical activity and participation in athletics provides important health and social benefits for children. Certain federal laws help ensure that kindergarten-12th grade schools provide students with disabilities opportunities to participate in physical education (PE) and extracurricular athletics equal to those of their peers. However, national associations have questioned whether students with disabilities receive opportunities similar to their peers.

Regarding students with disabilities, Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to examine (1) what is known about the PE opportunities that schools provide, and how do schools provide these; (2) what is known about the extracurricular athletic opportunities that schools provide, and how do schools provide these; and (3) how the Department of Education assists states and schools in these areas. GAO analyzed federal survey data; reviewed relevant federal laws and regulations; and interviewed state, district, and school officials in selected states, as well as parents and disability association officials.



Wheel Chair Rider’s Guide to the California Coast

California’s spectacular coast offers many outdoor adventures for wheelchair riders, parents pushing strollers, and others who need accessibility features such as a wide, fairly level and firm path of travel. This guide can help you choose the destinations that suit your needs from among the coast’s many wheelchair-accessible parks, trails, beaches, viewpoints, and other sites of interest.



Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn

When students use their bodies in the learning process, it can have a big effect, even if it seems silly or unconnected to the learning goal at hand. This article explores how movement enhances learning.


World’s First Fully Accessible Water Park to Open in 2017

Morgan’s Wonderland, an amusement park in San Antonio, Texas, made history in 2010 when it became the first-ever fully handicapped-accessible theme park. Now the company behind the park just announced it’s building Morgan’s Inspiration Island, a neighboring water park which will be fully accessible to children and adults of all abilities.


Yoga in My School

Donna Freeman, the developer of this site explains the intent of Yoga In My School:

  1. to empower parents and teachers to access the benefits of yoga by providing a website which collects everything related to yoga for kids and teens
  2. to make yoga more accessible and answer your yoga questions
  3. to provide information about yoga – what it is, what it can do for you, how to do it
  4. to show how to make yoga a part of your children’s/student’s lives, and
  5. to introduce yoga to kids and teens, allowing them to have fun, explore, create, and benefit in tremendous ways from this ancient and fulfilling practice.

Watch the videos and explore the resources on this site as well as other resources in the “Yoga Links I Love” section of this website.


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