Celebrate Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA

Girls conquer the obstacle course at a previous Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA. —Elizabeth Cecil

The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard hosts the seventh annual Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA on Saturday, May 5, from 11 am to 1 pm. The community event is designed to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active, and prevent unhealthy habits from forming at an early age.

Every child at Healthy Kids Day receives a goodie bag filled with summer fun, and a free Healthy Kids Day T shirt to tie-dye at the event. According to a press release, the day is offered free of charge thanks to the Y for All financial assistance and community outreach program, which relies on annual community support.

Kids and families can take part in sports and games such as an obstacle course; paddleboard balancing with Island Spirit Kayak; camping, fly-fishing, and paracord bracelet-making demos with L.L. Bean of Cape Cod; face painting, giant bubbles, sidewalk chalk; and delicious and healthy treats.

According to the release, Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 YMCAs across the country by over 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they can continue during the summer. “The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, gymnastics, and a place for kids to hang out,” Jill Robie Axtell, YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard executive director, said in the press release. “We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home. We know that it can sometimes feel like a challenge. So at Healthy Kids Day, we’ll encourage kids to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long, and give families tips they can easily replicate at home.”

In celebration of Healthy Kids Day, the YMCA offers the following tips to help families

develop healthy habits this summer that can have an impact for a lifetime:


High-five the fruits and veggies — Make sure kids get at least five servings a

day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy

childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in

the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.

Read together — The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer

program participants, and 30 minutes a day goes a long way. Take trips to the

local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most

minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.

Get moving! — Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental

muscle. Use materials in unique ways: Ask youth to build models, manipulate

tools, or develop their own theatrical scenes.

Play together — Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By

putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the

activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.

Make sleep a priority — Doctors recommend 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day for

children ages 5 to 12, and 7 to 8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role

in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory,

learning, and other vital functions.


For more information, visit ymcamv.org or call 508-696-7171.