Best for Bones Physical Activities!

Best for Bones Physical Activities is part of a bone health campaign for girls and their bones to “grow strong together and stay strong forever!”

The campaign is sponsored by a  division of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Best for Bones stresses the need for young girls to be physically active to grow and maintain bone health.

To do this, girls need to be active, doing 60 minutes of physical activities each day.

The Best for Bones campaign recommends the following activities as being the best ways that girls can meet their daily requirements for physical activities: Badminton, Cheerleading, Figure skating, Hiking, Running, Soccer, Tae Kwan Do,Volleyball, Jumping Rope, Weightlifting, Snow Skiing, Yoga, Basketball, Dancing, Gymnastics, Tennis

According to the US Dept of Health, swimming is good for your heart and other muscles, it isn’t the best choice for building bones. Ever notice how you feel a lot lighter in a pool? Water cuts down on the pull of gravity, so your bones don’t really get a good workout.

Riding a bike is also not an activity that’s best for your bones. Just like water, the bike is actually doing the work for you. These activities are fun, though, and good for your health! Just make sure you mix in some best-for-bones activities too.




Why Chess Should Be a Part of Every Child’s Education

chessThe following guest post is by Laura Sherman. Ms. Sherman wrote Chess Is Child’s Play with Bill Kilpatrick. Chess Is Child’s Play teaches any parent, of any skill level, to teach any child, of any age, to play chess. This book will be released April, 2012.

Imagine a world where people all have excellent problem solving skills, where they are patient and respectful of each other on a daily basis.  A society where citizens live for the future and plan long term, thinking of where their children’s children will be, following through, seeing each goal to its conclusion with ease.  Now add to that an indefinable quality of artistic imagination, dreaming for more than can be reasonably expected, reaching beyond the status quo.

Chess can teach our next generation all these skills and more!

I learned the game when I was young and to this day I see the world as a giant chess game where any barrier can be conquered and any victory can be achieved.  No goal is impossible and when I have a target in sight there is no stopping me.  The same glint I had in my eye when I faced an opponent at a chess tournament still exists today when I face a challenge, along with the insouciant grin that comes from the pure joy of the experience.

Intuitively most would agree that chess improves a student’s grades and ability to study.  Numerous studies have been done over the years throughout the world that show this to be the case.  IQ increases, reading test results improve as do math and science scores.  However there are so many other skills children pick up naturally from learning and becoming good at chess.

Imagination is a must in chess.  You cannot form strategies and tactical plans without being able to envision your goals.  It is impossible to win a game without first imagining the victory.  You are the one to make the pieces dance to the rhythm you choose.  Without the player the pieces just sit dormant on a dusty board.

A child’s self confidence soars as the victories pile up, especially when that child can routinely trounce adults.  Allow that child to teach other children or perhaps even the adults and he or she will master the game quickly.  Nothing helps someone learn faster than teaching others and nothing does more for one’s pride than to see someone improve under one’s tutelage.

In order to achieve a victory one must consistently play well throughout the game.  You can make forty excellent moves and one thoughtless blunder and lose the game instantly.  As a result you quickly learn to be thorough in your analysis and patient with your moves.  Imagine if we all applied this little lesson to our daily lives.  Thoughtless comments, heat of the moment bursts of anger, crimes of passion might just become things of the past to be studied as a part of a history lesson.

If every parent initiated regular family chess nights and if every school taught chess as part of their daily lesson plan imagine where our country could be. 

Children naturally are drawn to chess.  If you don’t believe me try an easy experiment.  Go to an area populated with children, put out a chess set and see what happens.  I promise you they will flock to the board and become immersed in a game.  We all have the power to fuel our children’s existing passion for learning and help our next generation soar.  Let’s make a difference!






“More Games” Are Now in the “Can Do” Club House

more gamesThere are more games, six new games to be exact, in the “Can Do” Club House courtesy of Grey Olltwit Educational Software, a nonprofit charitable organization in the UK.

The new games help the user develop mouse skills, tell time, use the alphabet, do basic math activities, learn the US states through putting together a jigsaw puzzle and improve eye hand coordination by playing air hockey.

Simon Hensby founded Grey Olltwit Educational Software in the 1990’s to provide free educational software to those on low incomes, especially in developing countries. Those who can afford to pay for membership and advertising revenue helps the organization to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford to pay.

Grey Olltwit Educational Software is used in schools and homes around the world. Large corporations like the BBC and Olympus USA use it as well as many education authorities in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

Grey Olltwit programs are suitable for Whiteboards, Touch Screens and VLE’s (Virtual Learning Environments).

To access the games go to the “Can Do” Club House (click on the cloud that says club house  on the home page and click on the balloon that says More Games.)

To visit and enjoy the other programs and games on Grey Olltwit Education Software site go to


1,000s of Free Crafts, Lesson Plans and Educational Materials

Picture of the free can do street mall

If you are looking for free craft projects, lesson plans and educational materials for children 3-7 years, spend some time in the “Can Do” Street Mall checking out the Crafts/Games and Teaching Resources.

Take advantage of the free materials that are there for your use. The materials are the work of parents, grandparents, educators, recreation and crafts personnel.

Each week we add more resources, shared by individuals, organizations and companies with the hope that you will visit their sites and make use of the 1,000s of free materials that they offer.

There is no catch, no hidden costs to using the free materials you find on the sites that list in the mall.

Prior to listing each of the free sites in the mall, the staff of “Can Do” Street check out the content to make sure it is suitable for out audience of parents, teachers and other adults involved in the care of young children .

To list your site in either Crafts and Games or Teaching Resources the content must meet the following criteria:

  • Contain free resources suitable, in all or in part, for children 3-7 years
  • Resources must be easy to download and use

If you wish to list, please send the following information about your free site to

  • A brief description of your site
  • A logo, if you have one
  • Your URL address so that we may create an active link to your site

We look forward to having you visit the “Can Do” Mall where the resources are free and fun!


Games and Crafts…Alternatives to TV Time

Nicola Fourie created a business around the activities she shared and continues to share with her daughter. These days she shares her  ideas on her web sites. The sites feature games and crafts for the younger set.

In a recent newsletter, Nicola shared, “It seems that playing games is a lost art. So I decided to start searching for all the recreational games that I could find.  Game playing is important to a child. Children learn through play and active exploration. Many toys and games encourage learning and develop skills in planning and sequencing, eye-hand coordination, visual perception and fine motor control. Group games help in moral and social development. Studies have shown that 80% of what kids learn is by doing, and learning is increased by an average of 50% when it’s fun and playful.”

Here are two of Nicola’s suggestions for having fun with activities using things that can be found around the house


Use anything around the house such as oranges, potato, pegs, rollers, bits of sponges etc and dab them in paint. Press these objects then onto paper and see the different prints they make. Little ones really enjoy this activity as it combines sensory and creative skills. Create masterpieces of art with things around the house and a little paint.

What’s in the box?

For a couple of weeks, save all your empty grocery cartons like cereal boxes, egg cartons and plastic bottles with tops. Clean them up, glue down the flaps of the cardboard cartons, and you have all the stock you need for a grocery store. You can use old coins or plastic money for added authenticity, and older children can make their own banknotes. This is great for teaching simple math.

Nicola is featured in our Parent Exchange on the Navigation Bar of this blog.

You can visit her sites at:


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