transcript What is MA Children at Play?


(opening music) Jennifer Swinhart, Executive Director, South Shore Early Education: Mass. Children at Play is an initiative to address childhood obesity, and  increase physical activity for children and introduce healthy eating habits for children. It really has changed the way the way in which we run the program. It's brought a lot more music to the program, and we even have developed a cooking class for the families to come in and learn how to cook a healthy meal on a limited budget. So that's been great for our program, and we've noticed a big difference for the families we serve. 

Well I really think that the benefits for the children and families are, number one, they are learning to eat more healthy. More healthy snacks They're learning to move their bodies more than they have before (music and kids singing) And they don't need any special equipment in order to move and eat right, within their apartments or the complexes that they live in. They can just do an obstacle course within the living space that they have. Very small spaces will get the children moving and not sitting in front of the TV all day. 

They use a lot of CDs and music and movement in the classroom. (kids moving to the music) I know within the state guidelines you have to have 60 minutes of activity per day, and in a preschool classroom that's part day, 60 minutes can seem like a long time. But those children are really very active when the CDs from "Choosy" come on the CD player and they act out every movement with their arms and legs and voices. So, they are very active. (kids roar into the center of circle) (kids sing "Choosy hears. What does Choosy hear?") (song: Choosy hears me running on the sidewalk)  

They take a regular storybook, that they've had for many years... and they begin to start acting out the contents of the story for example if there's a sleeping bear, in the cave, the children will act as the bear, and use the old sleeping movements, and again they become a lot more active by acting out the story. 

I love this program I think it has been wonderful. It has gotten the staff moving more, interacting with the children in different ways. It's some new curriculum that they've had to learn They took what they normally do every single day and just added more movement activities and and more health activities as far as food and nutrition. (kids sing "stir the soup") (closing music)   (End)