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Author: Daniel W. Hatcher

Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8 Reboot!

Keeping children at the center of our work means taking care of ourselves. Last year I wrote an article for the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog called Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8. The idea was to crowdsource ideas from a few educator friends to learn more about the daily self-care practices that help them stay resilient. For this post, I’m excited to share a reboot of that article featuring 7 more fri...

An Invitation to Unplug: 4 Nature-Based Activities

This month, Healthier Generation is celebrating Park and Recreation Month and the essential role greenspace plays in making our lives better. For example, did you know that trees can reduce anxiety and taking a walk outside can provide grounding and self-awareness when conflict arises? Today, I want to invite you to unplug and take a mindfulness break with me. We’re going to use Healthier Generati...

8 Art Activities to Encourage Wellness: At-Home Edition

Healthier Generation’s social-emotional health expert, Elizabeth Cook, recently gave me a book called Teacher’s Guide to Resiliency through the Arts. The book explores how creative arts can encourage well-being for children (and adults) experiencing adversity. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: Arts activities that include touch, pleasant smells, visualizations, movement, and/or pleasant sounds all...

3 Family Engagement Resources to Try this Month

Community gatherings, potlucks, and school parties are great opportunities to re-engage the caregivers, older siblings, and families that your program supports year-round. These events, in addition to being fun and light-hearted, can build protective and supportive factors for families and children experiencing adversity. The benefit of out-of-school time goes beyond the social-emotional to the ph...

Encourage Staff Well-Being: 3 Things to Try This Week

I recently spoke at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Conference alongside partners from the National Summer Learning Association, Afterschool Alliance, and Grow Appalachia. A common theme of our 3 workshops was the interconnectedness of physical health and social-emotional health to promote overall well-being. While at the NRPA Conference, we released an exciting new brief, Afte...

#SummerSwap: 5 Ideas to Boost Your Breakfast Game

Healthier Generation and Kohl’s are teaming up to inspire families to prioritize a healthy lifestyle in their home and wherever children, live, learn and play. This July, we’re kicking off #SummerSwap, presented by Kohl’s Healthy at Home, and you’re invited to join us! To get you started, here are 5 ideas to boost your summer breakfast game. Try one swap each week to build a new healthy habi...

Portable & Packable Park Month Snacks

As I explored in my last article, Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8, it’s important for educators to prioritize their own physical and social-emotional health as they support children and families. Finding a strategy that works for you can be a challenge. For me, I find balance and a chance to recharge by spending time in nature and trying new healthy recipes. If you’re searching for inspiration to su...

Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8

Youth development is hard work and often emotionally draining; taking even a few minutes for self-care can be beneficial for our mental and physical health. I know what you’re thinking, self-care is all about juicing, advanced yoga poses, beach vacations, and lavender-scented spa days. Although these absolutely fall into the category of self-care, there are plenty of simple ways to practice self-c...

Add Mindfulness to Your Day: 4 Farm to School Activities

Autumn can be a stressful time. School is back in session, holidays are on the horizon, and everyone seems to be busy, if not overwhelmed. With digital devices buzzing and growing to-do lists, prioritizing personal wellness and fostering a positive climate can be challenging. Thankfully, October is Farm to School Month and the celebration provides many opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. Below...

Spice Up Your Fall with these 3 Back-to-School Staff Wellness Challenges

Staff wellness programs reduce stress and help all of us be more effective. When work is challenging, morale-boosting social activities ensure everyone feels appreciated and valued. Perhaps most important, active and engaged staff are important role-models and social supports for children. Here are 3 back-to-school fitness challenges to try this fall! Share your ideas in the comment section below ...

Champion Wellness With Fitness Professionals: 3 Tips To Get Started

The nation’s celebration of afterschool, Lights On Afterschool, is just around the corner. Now is a great time to engage new partners and participants in your out-of-school organization. This fall try something new by partnering with local fitness professionals to attract attendees and strengthen your organization’s commitment to wellness – who knows, you might get the attention of a new funder or...

Healthy Kids on a Budget: Discount Store Scavenger Hunt

Back-to-school is here! Like most educators, you probably spend money out of your own pocket for supplies, enrichment materials, treats, and rewards. I recently went to my local discount store with $20 and a mission to find simple things to bring healthy afterschool to life. Check out my finds and corresponding activities below, then share your ideas in the comment section. Supply list: neon tape,...