The Quality Active School Experience: Considerations for Other quality after school opportunities
The after school time period, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, is an important opportunity to increase physical activity amongst children and youth. Every day after school, each child in Canada participates in the ‘after school experience’. The quality of this experience varies greatly depending on the nature of that experience.
An after school program is not for every child. Should you choose to have your child at home, or in another type of caregiver based after school experience you can still do a lot to ensure that the after school time period is of high quality. Planning for the after school time period to include physical activity and healthy eating can go a long way to ensuring your child’s health and well-being.
What Should I Know?
Not all after school experiences are created equal. Consider the following to determine the quality of your child’s after school experience:
Does your child…?
- Have supervision by a caring and responsible adult?
- Have opportunities for play, as well as instruction in order to master new physical activity skills?
- Participate in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity on a daily basis?
- Eat healthy snacks?
- Have their screen time limited in favour of activities that support their physical, social, emotional and intellectual development?
- Have support to address their particular needs and challenges (accessibility, developmentally appropriate activities, and inclusion)?
- Understand basic safety and first aid procedures including who to call for help?
- Have opportunities to explore and interact with their community and other children?
- Have a safe travel plan home from school?
- Take responsibility for helping to ensure a positive after school experience?
- Have opportunities to lead and serve others?
- Sit down with you regularly to discuss what is working and what is not working after school and to set goals relating to healthy choices?
- Enjoy and benefit from their after school experience?
Additional Resources :
Quality Active After School Parent/Guardian Resource: www.activeafterschool.ca/parents
Active for Life Parents and Physical Literacy: www.activeforlife.com
High Five: http://highfive.org/welcome-parents
Actively Engaging Women and Girls: Addressing the Psycho-Social Factors: www.caaws.ca
CS4L: A Sport Parent’s Guide, and Devloping Physical Literacy: www.canadiansportforlife.ca
Boys and Girls Club of Canada: www.bgccan.com
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