This Saturday, June 1st from 9 am to 12:30 pm, The Wellness Center is hosting its 4th Annual Kids Wellness Day and we have a bunch of reasons why! 1. We were all once kids. 2. Kids need a positive and fun way to learn more about health and wellness. 3. We want to foster a community that values their health and wellness and knows that there should never me a monetary boundary to good health. Kids Free Wellness Day was born! A FREE, as in you pay for nothing! Not snacks, classes, shirts, games, face painting or ANYTHING! Kids and families can come and just enjoy a bunch of hours that teach them about healthy lifestyles in an interactive way that welcomes all people. Studies prove that investing in our youth and their health has greater outcomes when it comes to education, longevity and the overall culture of wellness in the community. We can’t think of a better way to increase the health of our beloved NEK than investing in our Kids.

At the Kids Free Wellness Day children and families may participate in three free fitness classes. We have the super popular Drums and Dance class kicking off our event at 9:15 am which is led by Wellness Center Instructor Helena Vachon. Drums and Dance is a mixture of fitness drumming and dancing that is choreographed to the music, perfect for all levels from toddlers to grandparents.  At 10:15 am we have Kids Kempo Karate with Sensei Ricky Vinal, which is always a big hit, with a circuit of exercise and a chance to use the kick bags. Then at 11:15 we take out all our mats and encourage the whole family to join us for Yoga with Ali Thurston, our Kripalu trained yoga instructor. Kids really take to some fun movement and learning more about their bodies. You’ll be impressed with how calm they are afterwards.

Have no fear, you won’t go away hungry! For snacks The Wellness Center sponsors Green Mountain Farm to School to come and supply snacks along with their smoothie bike.  This is our chance to invest in offering kids some healthy snacks that taste really great too! Don’t worry; there will also be recipes on site so you can recreate them at home! You can also pick up the schedule for the Lunchbox free lunch program that offers meals to kids all summer long.

When it comes to activities we have a ton! We have a Whiffle Ball Home Run Derby, Button making, bubbles station, hand washing station, veggie planting station, fire extinguisher simulator, bouncy house bouncing, face painting and so much more. These are all really fun ways to be active, creative and interact with things that plant the seeds (pun intended) for great health. We believe that by engaging our youth in fun ways we can help them learn and feel empowered about making healthy choices and starting healthy habits now that will last a lifetime.

What may sound like a carnival, and look and feel like one, it’s actually a health fair, but in a family friendly way. We think that if our kids have a positive experience and a whole lot of fun they will start to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Sure, learning about handwashing may not seem that cool, but when kids get to play with goop and use a black light, it suddenly becomes fun! Maybe kids are just not responding to fruits and vegetables, but chances are if they grow their own, they are going to want to try them. And if moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. don’t have to worry about the cost to expose their kids to this, we think that is just the cherry on top of the healthy lifestyle sundae.

Consider this your invitation to join us this Saturday, June 1st, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at 1734 Crawford Farm Road in Newport (just off the I-91 access road) for fitness, food and fun. We think you will be surely glad you did. This event is rain or shine so wear a rain coat or slather on some sunscreen and we will see you there, this Saturday at the Fourth Annual Kids Free Wellness Day.

Mary Hoadley, Director of the Wellness Center