Category: Help and How-To

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!

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.

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.