Katherine Nguyen, an Extension educator in Hennepin County, was tired. Like many Minnesotan youth and families, she was experiencing Zoom fatigue. Along with fellow educators from Ramsey and Sherburne Counties, Nguyen created a weekly virtual learning community that gets kids moving in the midst of long and often sedentary days.
4-H Wiggle Wednesdays incorporates physical movement, dance, and games to encourage kids to stay active and healthy at home. Mindfulness is an added component that teaches youth how to process their emotions through song, dance and music. “Youth learn and retain more information if they are having fun and moving their bodies.” said Nguyen.
Each session, hosted by an Extension educator, helps youth to take a break from distance learning assignments. For example, Brianna Fisher, from Ramsey County, taught participants sign language and Michele Van Dyke, from Lincoln County, focused on yoga and stretching.
Lessons incorporate music and movement that stimulate the mind and body. “Opposition or mimicking enhances coordination and development in young children,” said Nguyen. “Teaching a series of movements with popular songs like Firework by Katy Perry or Hannah Montana’s Hoedown Throwdown is a fun way to challenge and engage youth in safe activity.
Find an upcoming 4-H healthy living experience for your family.