AGES: 4 and up

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWIMMING

  • Swimming is not only fun, but it’s a great way to keep fit
  • Swimming is low-impact and has many physical and mental health benefits
  • Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular rigidity
  • Swimming is a healthy activity that you can do for your entire life

Swimming is an excellent recreational activity for people of all ages. Recreational swimming not only provides a low-impact workout, but it’s also a good way to relax and de-stress. Common swimming styles in recreational swimming are the dog paddle, the breaststroke, the backstroke, sidestroke, etc.

Swimming is an excellent way to workout your entire body, as well as strengthen your cardiovascular system. It is said that an hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the negative impact on your bones and joints.

Some people who enjoy and show aptitude at swimming may be inclined to take it to a competitive level. This can provide the health benefits of a more intense workout, as well as the fun and thrill of competition and comradery. Some of the competitive swimming styles commonly seen are the breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. The distances in a swimming competition can vary from 50 Meters in a pool to much further distances in open bodies of water. Swimming may even help reduce some types of chronic pain or improve your recovery from an injury, when applied correctly. One study showed that people with arthritis reported a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness, and experienced a better physical range after engaging in activities like swimming.

Swimming may even have a beneficial effect and improve your recovery from mental  injury, and degrading capability. One study evaluated a small group of people with dementia and found a distinct improvement in mood after participating in a 12-week structured aquatic program. Swimming and aquatic workouts aren’t just for people with dementia, of course. Exercise has been shown to boost mood in people straight across the board and is highly recommended as a great healthy pastime in moderation.

A couple things to note: It’s a good idea to warm up by stretching your muscles and bending joints before you enter the water.  Also, remember not to over do it if you’re just starting out!

PLAYING THE PIANO

  • Increases your memory capacity
  • Exercises both sides of the brain
  • Enhances Split Concentration
  • Playing the piano teaches concentration and discipline

Playing the piano offers a plethora of health and mental benefits that will supplement every part of your life. And, that doesn’t even begin to expand on the deep network and historical tradition of the instrument and art. Even though you’re sitting down, playing the piano is somewhat of a mental and physical workout all its own. It offers different physical and physiological advantages to players of all ages. For instance, regular piano playing improves fine motor skills and betters hand-eye coordination in the young and developing. Research has also shown that piano lessons for adults have a significant impact on increased levels of Human Growth Hormone, which slows the adverse effects of the mind and body aging. Playing the piano is also proven to reduce anxiety, heart and respiratory rates, cardiac complications, and to lower blood pressure which in turn increases immune response.

Piano practice boosts cognitive and intellectual capabilities, which is to say, it makes you smarter and activates similar parts of the brain used in reasoning and math. Studying piano has also been shown to improve memory,  particularly verbal memory, and can build good habits like focus, perseverance, diligence and creativity. Children who have had a few years of piano study could remember 20% more vocabulary words than their peers. And childhood taught musicians are said to be better equipped later in life to retain information from presentations and lectures.

Playing piano has been shown to increase spatial temporal ability, which is heavily involved in math, science and engineering. Regular music practice at an early age can even make physical/structural changes to the brain that stay with you for the rest of your life, making your brain more efficient both while playing and in endeavors outside the musical realm. Playing piano has also been shown to be a great way to relieve stress, and provide opportunities to bolster self-esteem. It is also widely used as a form of therapy for Attention Deficit Disorder, helping individuals learn to focus in a structured way.

THE GAME OF CONCENTRATION

  • Helps concentration and focus
  • Improve memory retention
  • Refine logic skills
  • Improves visual cognition

Concentration is a classic memory card game that is still widely played all over the world today. The simple nature of this popular game has made it a favorite with young children, but different versions have emerged over the years that also tailor to a variety of different audiences. True to its name, this game will build concentration and focus, as well as memory and recognition.

The game is very straightforward – A deck of cards is laid out facedown and then players take turns flipping them two at a time, in search for matching pairs. Once a player finds two matching cards they get to keep the pair, otherwise they are put back. The player with the most matches at the end wins the game. Cards are often colorful or unique, which is another reason that children are drawn to playing this game.

Concentration is a fantastic tool to help children build focus and memory retention through play. As the game progresses, they will learn to use logic and deductive reasoning to recognize patterns and find matches. Practicing these skills at an age where the brain is rapidly developing improves cognitive function quickly and sets a solid foundation for learning more complicated concepts down the line. Children who play memory games like Concentration are more likely to develop a love and curiosity for learning and will be able to apply these skills in future education.

BINGO

  • Improves listening and short term memory skills
  • Helps improve concentration
  • Improved hand-Eye Coordination
  • Refines Cognitive Abilities

Bingo is a popular game that people play all over the world, often at community centers, senior facilities, and church groups. Research has found that the game has more value than for just passing the time and bonding with others. There are some surprising health benefits you can get from playing this centuries-old game.

According to many studies, playing bingo can improve your brain’s processing speed, alertness, and memory capabilities. Bingo requires players to practice active listening, as well as process that information quickly enough to find their own corresponding numbers and letters —sometimes across multiple cards.

Studies have found that when people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other types of dementia play bingo, their visual perception and cognitive skills become strengthened. Similarly, visually stimulating games can also help aging adults in visual and cognitive development. Bingo can improve memory, orientation, language, and command in senior citizens. It has also been found that seniors who play bingo have increased happiness and social interaction, which also promote mental health.  An active social life can help delay memory loss in again adults.

Children can benefit from bingo, too. Game play in general promotes healthy cognitive development in children of all ages. By introducing bingo in an educational environment, students are more likely to engage with course material. Another way to engage children in bingo is setting them up to make their own bingo cards, promoting creativity and hand-eye coordination.

Overall, bingo has many surprising health benefits for players of all ages. It’s a great way to promote healthy social interaction, cognitive development, and creative expression.

YETI SPAGHETTI

  • Promotes patience and turn taking,
  • problem solving
  • Counting

A good way to teach children about patience and the social grace of taking turns is through playing board games. Using board games, like a game of Yeti Spaghetti, in teaching has been proven to be a great tool for children because they are actively learning in a fun engaging manner. This silly game is a fun way to test and teach the players patience skills as they wait for someone to make the wrong move and let the Yeti fall. Since Yeti Spaghetti is designed to be played in a group environment, your child would be interacting with, as well as, copying the behavior of the other players as they wait for their turn and anticipate taking a spaghetti out of the bowl. Parents can take this opportunity to teach how to gracefully act when one wins, or possibly more important, when they lose. Finding opportunities where children will have fun and the adults can be assured everyone will be entertained for hours can be a godsend when stuck at home.

The premise of the game is easy to understand, and it has the added benefit of making      kids laugh while they are learning. It is a good tool for teaching children without the pressures and stress of following a teaching plan. Children benefit from board games by focusing on solving the problems and anticipating next moves, such as  picking the right spaghetti straw to grab and using their cognitive skills to decide what is the best strategy to win. Even better, your kids will be spending less time using their tablets and computers alone by themselves and sitting down and playing together as a family.

But above and beyond being a simple game, board games like Yeti Spaghetti can be useful for schoolwork with a tiny bit of ingenuity. Children can learn how to count out loud using the spaghetti straws, helping master speech and early math. Also, for subjects in science, it is a great tool for helping explain advanced concepts such as gravity and others. Once enough spaghetti straws are removed from the bowl, your child will experience what happens when the Yeti does not have a solid ground – a very direct example of gravity in motion! Furthermore, this can lead to experiments, as children can come up with different structures and strategies to keep the Yeti from falling. It is a great way to introduce them to engineering skills and the ability to anticipate the results of their actions at an early age.

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