HAPPY FEET, HEALTHY FOOD KIDS' CLUB
The Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kids' Club is my after-school running program. But it's not just about running - it's also about literacy, math, healthy eating, and kids' fitness. You may want to start a similar club.
Our Happy Feet Kids are wearing our newest tee. It's a navy, brown, and yellow design on a natural tee. It's a fun design featuring graphics from the Muddy Dog Running Log bookmarks.
We are halfway through with our fall session. We've played Chipmunks and Squirrels, Run to Spell, the Butterfly Training, the Triangle Training, and now we're busy running laps to get ready for our club fun run.
This session we are using the Muddy Dog Running Logs to track our mileage. We are also using the Happy Feet journal as usual, and when possible reading chapters from The Treasure of Health and Happiness. Our fun run is coming up and we are all excited. Each outdoor session ends with a nature hike and each nature hike ends with a run up a steep woodsy hill.
All club kids receive a Happy Feet Kids tee. The Chipmunk Chase tee is optional. Something else new! Apple Sticker Charts. Fruits or vegetable snacks brought to club earn stickers on these charts. They are free to download for any kids running or classroom program.
You've just gotta have a fun run if you have a running club. Our Chipmunk Chase is always the highlight of our season. We've found a way to keep it low-key and low-cost. We invite club kids and their families, supply the medals (through club funds), hand out bookmarks courtesy of usatf.org, and just have fun running and walking.
A mom paints faces so that we have real chipmunks running. We sing at least 2 verses of the club song to start, and then we run as many 1-K laps as we want. The medal rule? Run 1 lap, get a medal. Run a second K and get another. Run another K or run as many as you want - no more medals. 2 medals are max. How do we do this? We order new medals and bring old recycled medals so that we always have more than enough.
Song: (Verse 1) A strawberry for you, A carrot for me, Bright yellow sun, Green trees to see, Deep blue skies, A violet flower, Rainbow treasure surround the hour.
(At the Chipmunk Chase we add verse 4) Wake Mom up early, Get Dad up too. They're going to do the fun run with you. Start out easy. Pick up the pace. Earn your medal at the Chipmunk Chase. Click for more photos and a story
During each 10-week session (fall and spring), children eat healthy snacks, play running games, and go on nature hikes. They also keep track of their own progress in a Happy Feet book, study The Treasure of Health and Happiness, and also work to reach group and individual goals.
Near the end of each 10-week session, we have a family fun run called The Chipmunk Chase. This year we changed it from a 1-K fun run to a (x)k allowing kids to run or walk as many 1-K laps as they wanted.
The Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kids' Club is jam-packed with activity. Click here for sample lesson plans that cover activities from the moment the kids arrive at the club until parent pickup.
Just some notes on my feelings about a couple of the club's weekly Happy Feet Sessions. March 19, 2008 - March 25, 2008.
Running games are often the favorite activity of children at running club. They run faster, farther, and have more fun when a game is included. In the spirit of the Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kids' Club the games are non-competitive. Find ten basic games here.
RAINBOW TREASURES, OUR CLUB SONG
Each club session, we sing at least one verse of our club song. We also sing it at our family fun run. This year we chose the verse, Rainbow Treasures, most often. It gives us spirit and a sense of belonging.
It starts like this, "A strawberry for you, a carrot for me, bright yellow sun..."
Happy Feet, Healthy Food, Your Child's First Journal of Exercise & Healthy Eating
The Treasure of Health and Happiness
Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
© 2009 Carol Goodrow