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Need for kids to be constructive, fit

Molly J. Van Steenwyk, Grangeville

How many kids go home and watch TV after school instead of doing something constructive? How many parents are worried that their kids are getting overweight? Do kids do anything to help the community? I have a simple and extra fun way to keep kids active and fit. The solution is to have parents help their children join a 4-H club. There are many different types of clubs to choose from, so they are sure to find one that fits their child’s needs.

Watching TV daily isn’t a very constructive activity for children. Instead of your child watching the same old boring TV show every evening after school, they could be working on an educational demonstration for their 4-H club. They could learn how to care for and feed their rabbits or even the family cat. They could also learn to cook healthy snacks and their favorite meals, then serve them to the family. For the more outdoorsy person, they could learn to survive in the great outdoors by learning how to make, catch, and find food that’s nutritious but not poisonous.

It’s also known that kids aren’t getting all the exercise they need. According to government statistics, children have been getting fatter over the last 30 years. They say it’s just because they eat a little too much sugar. But that’s not all of what’s going on. If your kids are getting a little on the round side, 4-H will help get them physically active. They can go hiking, running or horseback riding.

Another question to ask yourselves as parents is, have your kids done things for the community? In 4-H kids learn to do things for others, like raking leaves for the elderly or working for a food drive. Kids will become more aware of what’s going on in their community, and it teaches compassion. After all, the 4-H pledge is “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”

The Idaho County Free Press should encourage parents to stop in at the U of I Extension Office in the Idaho County Courthouse and check out the local 4-H clubs. Depending on each child’s interests they can find many clubs to keep kids constructive, fit and help them help others.

Molly J. Van Steenwyk



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