Healthy Habits in 2020!
Start the New Year off with a fun new hobby: gardening!
At SMBGC, we are always looking for new ways to challenge and engage our members whilst promoting healthy lifestyles. Our Nature Explorers Club has opened our youths’ eyes to the world of possibilities in gardening!
Some top benefits of this project:
- engages all of the senses.
- encourages healthy eating.
- enhances fine motor development.
- introduces kids to scientific concepts. What makes the leaves green? What do plants need to thrive?
- fosters family bonding.
- teaches responsibility.
- helps learn to plan and organize.
- creates environmental stewards.
- develops math skills. How many seeds can you plant in each row?
- teaches patience.
We cannot wait to see the next batch of seedlings from our Nature Explorers! Their winter planters have been thriving and bringing great joy to all who visit our SMBGC Learning Center.
Give back to the community beautifying your beach backyard!
Here at SMBGC, one of our favorite ways to give back to the Santa Monica community is through beach cleanups! It’s great exercise, a fantastic way to meet new friends, has invaluable benefits to the environment, and helps preserve the beautiful beaches of our backyard! Why not consider hosting your own beach cleanup in 2020? Keep reading to find out more about the rewards of beach beautification projects!
- help save marine animals! Who doesn’t want to help our sea turtles, dolphins, and local aquatic friends?
- preserve nature for generations to come.
- prevent toxic chemicals from spreading.
- boost local economies!
- establishes a connection with ones community.
- teaches the value of giving back. With short and long-term rewards, youth can immediately see the impact their choices have, and watch the benefits of a cleaner, safer environment increase as time progresses!
- create safe environments for youth to enjoy the outdoors.
- teach proper recycling habits! You learn what kinds of things are recyclable, and what items are for the waste bin.
- provide fresh air, sunshine, and fun.
- are fun forms of exercise! You won’t even know you’re exercising!
Our teen members are avid beach-goers and take great pride in helping to beautify our Santa Monica beaches. In 2018 and 2019 they amassed a combined 14,000 hours of community service; including, beach cleanups! With that number in mind, we have an even BIGGER goal to reach in 2020, and we cannot wait to get started!
Explore the world from your favorite comfy chair!
The SMBGC family believes in broadening the scope of our youth’s worlds through exposure to new cultures, ideas, and places – but, we can’t always pack up and jet across the world! The truth of the matter is, you don’t have to travel very far to engage with new people and places when you have a book in your hand. Books are transportive, enlightening, and entertaining. It’s also worth noting that many psychologists believe people who enjoy reading tend to exhibit higher levels of emotional intelligence and empathy compared to TV-watching counterparts. In fact, some of the top benefits of book reading include:
- Mental stimulation
- Stress reduction
- Increased knowledge
- Vocabulary expansion
- Improved analytical thinking skills
- Increased focus and concentration
- Free entertainment: library cards in LA County are free!
Still, as with all pastimes, not every child immediately or readily takes to reading – a truth we factor into our approach when working to create mindful, engaging programming for all who walk in our doors! A book club full of friends is a fun way of enticing a hesitant reader to give books another chance; book clubs are indeed social activities! Kids are able to discuss their favorite parts of the story, the characters they most identify with, and what they’d change if given the chance. When combined with fun snacks that relate to the tale, it’s an afternoon activity sure to impress even the most reticent of soon-to-be literary lovers. To get started, we have some simple suggestions to create balance and ease in establishing a successful club:
Size: 8 to 12 members, or 4 to 6 parents with 4 to 6 kids!
Meetings: Start with an initial parent meeting to choose how often to meet, at what time, and how books will be chosen. Typically, groups meet once a month, which gives everyone time to read the book.
Focus: Some groups choose to read a particular kind of book, such as mysteries, or include all kinds of books. If your children aren’t excited about reading yet, letting them have a say in what kind of books to read will help build interest!
Leaders: You may want to choose one person as your group’s leader, or rotate leaders each time you meet. The leader ought to be responsible for guiding the discussion, as well as researching and presenting information on the author. For older kids, a parent-child leadership team is a family bond-building idea we love!
And, if you do take the leap to start a book club make sure to let us know how it goes! We can’t wait to hear where your books take you!
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