Author: Coleman Greene

Fall into Family Fitness

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Yesterday marked the first day of fall!  As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, don’t ‘fall’ into the habit of letting your family fitness goals go by the wayside.  Read about Sqord’s favorite ways to stay active during Autumn:

Make the most of the cool weather: The brilliant colors of the changing leaves and the autumn chill in the air is a magical combination for fun family hikes, bike rides, and walks.  Wear your Sqord Pods and see how many Activity Points your family can score!

Have some festive fun: Weave in and out of corn mazes for every level of adventure or play at the pumpkin patch!  Challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin and get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch.

Squash the rainy day blues: Who says you can’t continue some of your family’s beloved summer activities in the fall?  Take a trip to a local indoor pool!  Bonus: your Sqord Pod can get wet, so don’t worry about taking it off for your cannonballs!  Or, visit a local roller skating or ice skating rink.

5 Benefits of Team Sports

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Sqord’s Customer Ops Intern,  Anastasia Erofeeva.  As a former Washington state and regional gymnastics champion, she understands the hard work, dedication, and time it takes to be an athlete and team player, and she wants to share what she has learned with parents and kids.  

The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time, full of learning, friendships, and goal-setting.  It is also an excellent time to try new things, such as joining a club or a team sport.  Not only are team sports a great way to earn Sqord Activity Points and keep children active during the school year, they also provide numerous learning opportunities and benefits that will last a lifetime. Here are just a few of them:

1.  Keeps Kids Moving:

Team sports provide a reliable, consistent and fun way for kids to exercise.  According to KidsHealth, regular exercise helps kids become stronger and healthier, reducing their risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.  Furthermore, studies have shown that active children are more likely to become active (and healthy!) adults.

2.  Academic Achievement:

Through participation in team sports, children learn valuable skills such as dedication, commitment, problem-solving, and an understanding that hard work leads to good results. These skills transfer from sports to the classroom, resulting in higher grades and an improved academic performance. In addition, team sports introduces kids to the art of creating your own balance and building great organization and time management skills, helping them balance homework, sports, family time, and rest.

3.  Teamwork:

The ability to work together towards a common goal is an essential part of team sports, as well as an important life skill.  Participation in team sports allows kids to make lasting friendships, develop communication skills, feel a sense of community, and learn to respect their teammates and coaches.  Additionally, being part of a team teaches children the importance of being a responsible and reliable team member.

4.  Confidence:

When kids see practice pay off, they gain confidence to work towards achieving their goals.  Team sports offer ample opportunities for participants to show off their skills, allowing them to see the results of their work and feel pride in their team’s accomplishments.  This helps children build self-esteem and have a positive outlook

5.  Life Lessons:

In addition to all of these benefits, participating in team sports provides children with the opportunity to learn patience, perseverance, hard work, and how to have a positive approach to setbacks.  Team sports helps put winning into perspective, showing kids that it is not the most important thing in sports.  Young athletes learn good sportsmanship, and how to make each game/meet/performance/event a learning opportunity, all while having fun and practicing a sport they enjoy!

Lastly, don’t forget to encourage your kiddos to wear their Sqord Pods while participating in team sports!  Learn how many Sqord Activity Points are generated by different types of exercise and movement!

San Diego Chargers Awards Grant for Sqord Pods!

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Yahoo!  King-Chavez Athletics Academy is a 2016 recipient of a Chargers Champions grant for our Sqord Pods from the San Diego Chargers!

Founded in 1995 by San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos, the Chargers Community Foundation created the Chargers Champions program to make a difference in the lives of children in San Diego.  The Chargers Champions School Grant program assists San Diego County schools with establishing and accelerating the success of the basic physical fitness, nutrition and athletic needs of their students.  The program annually provides selected schools with grants of up to $75,000 for high schools; up to $40,000 for middle schools and up to $30,000 for elementary schools.

When Sam Hess, Vice Principal at King-Chavez Athletics Academy, decided to apply for this grant, he knew it would be a tough process and that standing out would be a key factor in the acceptance of his grant proposal.  How did Sam stand out and make this happen?  Rather than request upgrades to the school gym or physical fitness equipment for sports, he wanted something to help children succeed and stay healthy from childhood to adulthood.  The Chargers Champions were extremely excited to see a Vice Principal asking for funds to help children build and maintain lifelong healthy habits using our Sqord Pods!

Thanks you San Diego Chargers and Chargers Champions, and congratulations Sam Hess and King Chavez Athletics Academy!  Sqord is super pumped to be a small part of supporting youth health and fitness in San Diego County schools!

Click here to read more about it!

Let’s Move! Active Schools is Partnering with Sqord

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Sqord is another Activity Point closer to keeping kids active and fit!  We are so excited to announce a new and impactful partnership.  Let’s Move! Active Schools, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, announced nine new partnerships today, and Sqord happens to be one of them!

Dedicated to ensuring that 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children is the new norm in K-12 schools across the country, Let’s Move! Active Schools equips schools with the resources and tools to increase physical education and physical activity.  Sqord is proud to be a part of this initiative!

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a high-impact initiative as Let’s Move! Active Schools, which fits so perfectly with our Sqord mission to provide a proven solution that gets kids active and healthy again through technology and gamification.” –Paul Sebastien, CEO, Sqord

Click here and here for more information about this exciting new partnership!

 

 

3 Things to Do Now to Get Ready for Back to School

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It’s back to school prep time!  Here are some ideas to make the transition back to school smooth and seamless for your family.  Read on for three things you can do to help your children prepare for the upcoming school year:

1. Routine, routine, routine:
A big chunk of the battle is getting back into a regular school routine.  Have your children practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time everyday.  Start practicing assembling outfits (and finding shoes!) each night to save time in the morning.  Get your children into the habit now of making sure their backpacks are organized and ready to go before they go to bed.  You can even start to serve snacks and meals at the same time your child will have them in school.   And don’t forget fitness – building exercise routines as a family is not only fun, it will help your children feel excited for P.E.!  Click here for inspiration!

2. Put on a happy face:
Thoughts of homework, uncertainty about new teachers, worries of making new friends – as children start to head into back-to-school mode, they can experience a lot of different feelings, ranging the gamut from excitement to dread.  Your influence as a parent can have a huge impact!  Help instill confidence that this year is going to be the best school year yet for them.  Discuss with each child their joys and concerns for the school year – what are they looking forward to?  What are they nervous  about?  Start a journal where you and your child(ren) can communicate your feelings about the school year openly.  Mention exciting opportunities such as making new friends, joining clubs or sport teams, and the opportunity to learn about new and  interesting subjects.

3.  Get organized:
A stitch in time saves nine!  We know this is a tough one, however the more organized you are now, the better off your children’s first few weeks of school will be.  Make a place for your kids to stash book bags, a spot for important papers, a lunch packing station in the kitchen, and a calendar for everyone to write and keep track of important dates.  Also, start to think about getting your children involved in programs after school to keep them active and provide something fun and challenging for them to look forward to at the end of the school day.

A Message from our Founder, Coleman Greene

 

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Hello Sqord parents, teachers and coaches!

With summer winding down and school just around the corner, we are excited to be launching our newsletter and blog posts to provide more regular updates of all that we are working on here at Sqord. Your support to date has been amazing and we cannot wait to have you join us for the wild ride ahead!

Sqord was founded with the vision of being able to provide kids everywhere with fun, enjoyable experiences around everyday healthy habits. As we work towards that big, awesome goal, please know that your feedback is critical and hugely valuable to us. Let us know how we are doing by you and your kiddos. Are there any topics you would like us to focus on? Any ideas or requests? As always, thanks for the support – keep moving, syncing, and playing!

-Coleman Greene

3 School Lunch Ideas Destined for Lunch Room Envy

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Here at Sqord, we know that nutrition and playtime go hand in hand, and healthy eating is crucial for providing your child with ample energy to earn all those Sqord Activity Points. The dog days of summer are coming to a close, with children across the nation heading back to school in a few short weeks.  Aside from the usual back-to-school shopping, it’s time to dust off the old lunchbox, or perhaps splurge on a shiny new one. Quell the unspoken dread of packing lunches five days a week with these three quick, and healthy, recipes for your children.

1. Quesadillas:
Tired of the standard sandwich?  Look no further than quesadillas! Kids will gobble them up and they can be devoured cold.  Fill a large tortilla with apples and peanut butter, and serve with a side of raisins and carrots for a dairy free lunch sure to please.  Or sub the wrap for lettuce if your child is gluten intolerant.  Adding a tasty side and maybe a small serving of chocolate covered almonds will be a hit!

2. Spaghetti:
Who says pasta can only be served at dinnertime?  Let your child enjoy this for lunch. All you need is pasta, turkey meatballs, marinara, and a little shredded parmesan.  Add in an extra element of flavor (and veggies!) by substituting regular noodles for zucchini noodles – the unofficial squash of fall!  To serve this warm, heat it up in the morning and pack in a thermos.

3. Mini-Kebabs:
These are perfect for little fingers!  Try this versatile treat with any combination you can imagine.  Our delicious suggestion: grapes, ham cubes, and cheese cubes on decorative toothpicks or skewers.

Bonus: we are in the process of developing a nutrition app for your child, designed to be used with their Sqord.  Stay tuned to our blog for more updates!   

Tips to Keep your Child Active During Busy School Days

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Summer is the season of play, but movement and activity does not have to end as fall approaches and school starts.  When school is out for the day, make sure to set aside time for play!  Here are three ideas to keep your child active after the last school bell rings.  Hint: don’t forget to wear your Sqord Pods!

1. Living room dance party:  
Crank up the tunes to get everyone up and moving! Parents – you can set a custom Goal for silliest dance moves and award Sqoins in the Family Portal!

2. Head to your backyard — or a neighbor’s backyard:  
Set up a simple obstacle course and see how quickly each of your children can complete it.  Jump ropes, hula-hoops, hopscotch: the sky’s the limit!

3. Make it a family thing:  
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine as a family.  Walk to the local park, go bike riding or take the dog for a stroll.

Earn Activity Points Underwater!

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Do you have a child who loves to swim?  Don’t let a little water keep your child from earning their hard-earned Sqoins and capturing the intensity and duration of all their movement underwater!  While the school year has already started, or will be starting for many of our Sqord families across the nation, it is still swimming weather in many areas. The great news is your family can keep earning Activity Points even while swimming!  Your child may wear their Sqord Pod underwater for up to 30 minutes in the deep end of the pool.  Once you have finished, don’t forget to help your child tag it as an Activity in their Activity Chart!*

*How do you tag an Activity in your Activity Chart?  It’s a breeze! Simply log in to your Sqord Player Portal and select ‘Activity Charts’ from the drop down ‘Directions’ menu.

Meet Grace Daley, Former Women’s Basketball Player & Sqord Ambassador!

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It’s back-to-school time with Sqord!  This year we have a team of Sqord Champion Ambassadors* to help us put some extra pep in our Sqord steps.  One special Ambassador is Grace Daley from B.E. S.M.A.R.T.™ KIDS and College Park Elementary in Ocala, Florida.  A former professional women’s basketball player and an enthusiastic teacher, Grace says “Sqord has helped change the entire culture of my grade level.  I’m a former professional athlete and I wear a Sqord Pod along with my students, and I was struggling to stay in the Top 10 on the LeaderBoard in my class!” Grace has learned ways to build movement into her students’ school routine, and is excited to share what works for her with other Team Admins.  

At Grace’s school, she came up with “Sqord Up Friday,” a 20 minute recess where all Sqord players run around the track, earning loads of Activity Points and cheering each other on along the way.  Before heading back in to class, kids sync their Sqord Pods to their classroom’s iPad.  They even have an awards ceremony to recognize Players of the Week in different categories, such as Most Improved Player, and to celebrate movement and wellness as a team.  Way to go Grace!

*What is a Sqord Ambassador?  Our Ambassadors are active, diverse and influential Admins of their team or organization.   These Ambassadors have volunteered to keep kids moving, help newer Team Admins succeed with Sqord, and to serve as sources of all-around inspiration for the Sqord universe, making movement fun and creative, and inspiring imagination and happiness all around.  If you are a current Team Admin and are interested in joining the Sqord Ambassador crew, please e-mail coach@sqord.com for more information.

Interested in hearing more stories about how our Sqord Ambassadors inspire their students?  Follow us on social media for mini-lessons from our Ambassadors, along with the latest and greatest Sqord news!