Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Let's Stay Healthy!

It's that time of year - and this year is a particularly troublesome one for the flu. Help your young ones to stay healthy by having a conversation about healthy habits in your classroom. While we don't want to scare our children, it is important to teach and reinforce healthy habits. Here are a few ideas for you.

Read appropriate children's books as a jumping off point for a discussion. Healthy Habits has a series of books that are age-appropriate. You may also want to share the Berenstain Bears book, Sick Days or even Llama, Llama Home With Mama by Anna Dewdney, to begin a conversation about ways to stay well. 

After reading a book or two, ask children to share ideas about how they can keep from getting sick. As children offer their ideas, you may want to ask everyone to demonstrate the idea. In upper grades, teachers often make a list of ideas like this for classroom display. You can do this in an age-appropriate way by taking photos of children showing healthy habits and then posting the chart to remind your children of the discussion. Ideas might include:

Eat healthy foods.
Wash your hands frequently. We like to teach our children to sing "Happy Birthday" two times while scrubbing their hands to be sure they have washed well.
Get enough sleep.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or shirt. 
Keeping your hands away from your face will help you stay healthy.

You will notice that we worded these ideas in a positive manner. It is more meaningful to compliment children for exhibiting healthy habits than to admonish them. For example, when you see a child sneezing into their elbow, stop the class and have everyone clap or cheer! This will really encourage your class to show healthy habits.

Additionally, you can keep yourself healthy by being sure YOU get enough sleep. Try to use different pencils, pens, crayons, etc. than the children in your class. We usually spend the flu season with our own pens handy and use them everywhere...even outside of school to sign credit card receipts. Be sure to wipe down the tables and other surfaces in your classroom frequently, including keyboards. 

Stay well!

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC - 2.K.01 & 2.K.02.
Head Start - I. A. & B.

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