Kids On-the-Move is a free after school program held at Ensworth Elementary and Lava Ridge Elementary, designed to get youth recreating outdoors in their schoolyard and neighboring park. In a world dominated by screens, its not uncommon for children to get in the routine of watching TV or surfing the web after school. That’s not the case for Kids On-the Move! Instead, you can find them partaking in fun and active nature games like scavenger hunts or a game of tag mimicking predator-prey relationships. With these activities, kids develop healthy after school habits while learning about and connecting with nature.
“Without this program our son would be in the house watching tv and playing video games. It’s great for him to be active and release his energy.” -Parent
“I like being outside because we get to play cool games and the games make nature more fun too” -5th grader, Lava Ridge Elementary
“The experience has been such a positive one for her. She has come home telling us all of the cool things she’s learned about nature.” – Parent
Not only are the Kids on-the-Move participants increasing their physical activity, they’re also exercising their minds! Being outside builds creativity and imagination while stimulating the brain and senses. In the program, children make nature crafts, play team building games, or do activities that awaken their observation skills. The program builds a strong community among the participants and leaders.
“A fairy house is when you make a house out of nature and nothing manmade”- 2nd Grader, Lava Ridge Elementary
“Building little nature houses has really sparked his imagination. He has a lot of fun with it” -Parent
Activities within the program also hope to foster stewardship behaviors and a sense of awareness for the natural world. Studies show that in order to develop stewardship behaviors and a lifelong love of the outdoors, children need regular time in natural areas close to home with adult mentors. Through nature-based activities, the Kids On-the-Move program helps to form a connection between the kids and their environment. For example, the students have made seeds balls from native wildflower seeds that they can plant in their backyard. Not only did they have fun creating the seed balls, but they will learn how to care for a resource in their own backyard.
Kids On-the-Move is a collaborative program between the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon, Bend Park and Recreation District, and other community partners. It is a free program offered from September-December and March-May. Find out more about the program and how to register by clicking here!