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  • Instilling Confidence In Your Child

    For all people, confidence comes in many forms. Internally, there are physical and emotional confidence and self-confidence. On the outside, it could be the belief in having confidence in others. Having a high self-esteem can be the ticket to a lifetime of physical and social health and happiness for your child. At all ages, having confidence in yourself – and also others – will lead to positive outcomes in all areas of life. Here are a few tips to instill confidence in your child: 1. Project Positivity The images you reflect to your child are important. Are they positive or negative? Not only do positive reflections allow children to think positively about themselves, but they also set up the times when you need to instill discipline. If your reflection is less positive than usual, they’ll understand something is unusual and change their behavior. 2. Positive Yet Realistic It’s important to project positive images to instill confidence in your child, yet you need to be authentic and realistic. Children are smart enough to see through fake cheerfulness. They understand their parents are human and some days are better than others. 3. Be Aware Of Your Own Self-Confidence Confident parents tend to produce confident children. And certain traits are passed on from generation to generation through upbringing. Think about the things your parents did to both strengthen and weaken your self-confidence. By understanding your own confidence journey as a child, you’ll be more aware of what you’re passing on. 4. Instilling Confidence Through Play Playing with your child reinforces the idea that they are valuable and they are worthy of your time. Their self-worth strengthens if they see mom and dad enjoy and embrace their interests. Encouraging your child to participate in sports, dance, music or and other activity they choose – in addition to free playtime – will help them develop a variety of skills and watch their self-confidence grow. 5. Linking Physical Activity And Confidence Positive early sporting experiences are important to self-confidence development and understanding of a healthy lifestyle. The ability to learn new things in a social setting while getting exercise helps children physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether it’s setting a personal best or achieving something positive in a team setting, some structured physical activity coupled with playtime will lead to a more confident child. But it’s important to remember to keep the unstructured fun or playtime in the mix as well. Over-programming your child can have an adverse effect. Sources: - Loop Of Confidence: - Psychology Today: - Solve A Problem:

  • Keeping Your Kids Active

    Keeping kids active throughout the year can be tough. Weather permitting, illness, busy schedules, etc. but it's important to remember to keep moving as a priority for our littles! NinjaZone is dedicated to building active physical skills, confidence, and social connection among our Ninjas, and we’ve seen firsthand the massive difference that regular physical activity can make in a child’s life. So, how can parents make sure that their kids stay running around? With a few simple approaches, you can help make sure your kids stay active all year round! Less Screen Time With less structure and more free time, it can be easy for children to spend more time than they should with screens of all types. Unfortunately, while these screens provide an easy way to spend time, they have been linked to attention problems, obesity, and trouble sleeping at night. While allowing your child to spend time watching their favorite movies or shows is fine in moderation, planning screen-related activities ahead of time and substituting outdoor activities can both reduce any negative effects of excessive screen use and increase total time spent outdoors. More Play Dates and Meetups Physical activity improves health and physical fitness, but for kids, physical activity can also be a great opportunity to ensure that they make friendships and connections, and continue to develop socially. Playdates structured around activities like biking or going to the park ensure that time spent with friends is also time spent staying active. For older children, encouraging them to stay in contact with their friends and offering assistance like giving rides to physically-oriented activities can have a similar effect. Make Activity Time Family Time Even the most active of children can have difficulty thinking of new activities to keep them active. Finding ideas for physical activities as a family and setting the agenda takes the pressure off and provides structure for kids looking for something fun to do. Going for a walk or family bike ride, as well as participating in sports like basketball or catch together, are great ways to have fun and connect as a family while making sure that your kids get the physical activity they need. This method is also good for parents looking to become a bit more active, too! Make Sure it Stays Fun Finding the right activity for your child to participate in might take some time; different children have different personalities and will prefer different physical activities. For some, running and swimming might be perfect. For others, biking and baseball. NinjaZone is dedicated to making exercise fun, providing an environment where children want to stay active because of the experience they have and the memories that they make. Making sure that they enjoy the activity that they do is worth the investment in trying out multiple options, as they will want to continue exercising. We love seeing kids staying active and having a good time, and we hope that with a few simple changes, you’ll be able to find the right balance for your family.

  • Nutrition & Exercise – Keys to Healthy Children

    Childhood obesity has now become the top concern among parents in America. About 1 of every 3 children is said to be obese, a rate that tripled since the early 1970s. What can you do to make sure you’re raising healthy children? It begins at home with a healthy diet and a commitment to an active lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep your child healthy and where you can go for activities that are not only fun but provide much-needed exercise. Commitment To Nutrition A lifetime of healthy eating begins at a very young age. Hectic schedules make it harder than ever to focus on proper nutrition – it’s easy to just zip through the fast food drive-thru. But if you follow these tips, you’ll find a healthy diet for you and your child is possible. 1. Eat as a family: Eating as a family leads to healthier meals and children who eat with their families are less likely to snack on junk food. 2. Explore a variety of foods: It’s common sense to encourage a balanced diet including protein, fruits, grains, and vegetables. What isn’t often thought about is how offering a variety of foods can encourage healthy eating. 3. Lead by example: This is no time for the old “Do as I say, not as I do” line. You can be a role model to your children by displaying healthy eating habits yourself. 4. Let the kids choose: Giving children the hard sell on broccoli will likely be unproductive. Most young children are picky eaters and that’s OK. Offering a variety of healthy foods and letting your children gravitate to what they like will lead to good habits in the long run. 5. Don’t make it a chore: Nutrition can be fun. By allowing your children to be involved in food, they can connect with you and also feel ownership. Some ways to involve kids in nutrition include: planting a garden or picking fruit, arranging fruits and vegetables in interesting ways, or allow them to help in the kitchen. Once you have your family eating a healthy diet, everyone will feel good and be ready to exercise. After all, nobody feels like exercising after eating unhealthy snacks. Physical Activity According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The CDC has recommendations for the types of exercise needed to raise a healthy child: Aerobic Exercise: It’s suggested that the majority of the 60 minutes of exercise be moderate or vigorous aerobic activity to build endurance and respiratory health. Moderate aerobic exercises include: riding a bike, rollerblading or walking, and hiking. Vigorous aerobics involve running, martial arts, cheerleading, or jumping rope. Build Bone Strength: Children should spend a portion of each day’s 60 minutes doing bone-strengthening exercises. These include: hopping and jumping, running and sports like basketball, volleyball and gymnastics. Increase Muscular Strength: It’s not recommended for young children to lift weights. Doing push-ups and sit-ups will do the trick, as will gymnastics and playing on playground equipment. As your child gets older, weight training can be introduced after proper instruction. This doesn’t mean you need a personal trainer and a heavily-regimented exercise program for your child. It’s important to encourage physical activities that are fun and age-appropriate. That way, getting exercise won’t seem like a chore. One way for a healthy child to have fun with peers while getting valuable exercise is to discover NinjaZone. With more than 250 licensed clubs worldwide, NinjaZone is providing children with a mix of obstacle training, gymnastics, martial arts and freestyle movement. Spending 60 minutes in your local NinjaZone club will provide your child with the aerobic and strength-building activity needed to be healthy, confident, and creative. NinjaZone recently launched a Baby Ninja program which is a Parent & Me class for walkers to age 3. For children ages 3-5, we have a Lil’ Ninja program that introduces by gymnastics, martial arts and obstacle training concepts in a way that encourages listening, confidence and exploration. For children ages 5-11, our Ninja Training program of flips, rolls, kicks and jumps provides necessary bone- and muscle-strengthening exercises. The Ninja Sport is growing. Find out what 80,000 healthy children are finding out, physical fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. By eating right and having a little fun with friends, your child can build healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Sources:

  • A Coaches Pep Talk

    Does coaching stress you out? Do you see routines in your dreams? Maybe even grit your teeth, and tear up every now and then? Do you feel like your efforts aren’t noticed, recognized, appreciated, or trusted? Feeling like you care more than they do? Feeling like if they just believed you, just did what you said, or just freeeeakkkinnnngggg listened, everyone would be so much happier? I feel your pain, and I have two pieces of advice. Be freaking proud of yourself. You’re doing a whole lot right when coaching. All of the yucky stuff you’re feeling is you’re big heart and passion. The parents, kids, and club owners are lucky to have you. Heck, the world is lucky to have you. Seriously. People that really care about stuff are hard to come by. Passionate people are hard to come by. That competitive spirit is a gift, be grateful. Breathe deep and think hard about what you’re really working so hard for. Coaching is leadership in the ultimate form. If you don’t consider yourself a leader, that’s the 1st place to start. You’re a huge part of building young humans into who they become. You’re the one that is showing them it’s okay to move out of a comfort zone, to sacrifice, to give more effort than the norm, to work through the pain, and to be a leader in their own right. As a leader, to do these things well, you have to have a clear mind and empathy to see that their goals may not be your goals for them. And that has to be okay. Rather than walking into practice with the coaching attitude of what you’re going to “get them to do,” try walking in with the attitude of “what can I be for them today”. Smile more. Praise more.  Be the coach that you would want to have then, and now. Set your goals for yourself as a leader, be patient, and be amazed at what they’ll do.

  • Building Up Boys

    A Response to “Can American Ninja Warrior Save Men’s Gymnastics?” A couple of months ago, a piece was written and then published on Deadspin entitled “Can American Ninja Warrior Save Men’s Gymnastics?” This is, NinjaZone CEO and Founder, Casey Wright’s response. I’m Casey Wright, founder of the NinjaZone. I’m super sorry we were out of fidget spinners. Those fidget spinners were fun, but actually, represent a big reason why NinjaZone has had such an impact on the amount of new little boys entering our country’s gymnastics gyms – and it has nothing to do with traditional boys gymnastics programs. Here at NinjaZone, we have over 250 gymnastics, cheer, and dance clubs that have adopted our program, each with an average of 250 Ninjas per club per year. That’s LOTS of little boys. It’s lots of little Ninjas. But why? The problem with building up boys At large, the needs of little boys are not being met. They’re not being met at school, at home, and now not even in sports. Parents and coaches alike have become so regimented in competition, training, scores, and keeping up with their neighbors’ kids, that they’ve forgotten to take a good look at what a little guy needs. According to studies, boys’ brains simply function differently than girls meaning that movement, confidence, and ultimately, success are interconnected. A little boy needs that fidget spinner because the chemistry of his brain simply demands it — and as a society, we aren’t giving boys enough time to…well, fidget. From my experience as a coach and a mother, I’ve seen firsthand the results of the feminization of education and gymnastics. Get a group of six-year-olds together and  I can pretty much guarantee that the boys are more likely to be the ones bouncing off the walls. They’re also the ones that are more likely to be put on medicine for hyperactivity, more likely not to pass the standardized test, and more likely to end up on a couch playing video games when they’re 14 because they’ve been burned out of sports due to crappy volunteer coaches and the complete lack of progressional teaching systems. But they aren’t the problem. We are. They want to bounce off the walls. So, let them. We have to build up boys starting with what they want. Movement sports are the foundation of the future Whether it be NinjaSport, Ninja Warrior, Parkour, Tricking, or any other “movement sport,” everyone should get over the territorialism and embrace the fact that we can help our nation’s children and the grassroots of ALL sports, and overall health and fitness, by simply by meeting the needs of our children. That was the intention when I painted the vision for NinjaZone & Ninja Sport. I’m a gymnastics industry veteran through and through, and I see how beneficial the “fundamentals” of the sport are to all movement. For 20 years, I thought I was teaching flips and twists, and driving towards titles and scholarships. What I was actually doing as a gymnastics coach was building confidence. Gymnastics teaches kids, from a very early age, that it’s okay to do things out of your comfort zone. My gymnastics gym was 95% girls. Our country’s boys just aren’t getting that same encouragement…especially now, when they need it the most! Parkour has done an amazing thing by bringing back the “discovery” of movement in the way it has. Funny thing, my 68-year-old-former-gymnast father watched a parkour video and immediately recognized a “cool move” as a standard gymnastics vault. He also commented that he used to jump from rooftop to rooftop in the city as a kid. Parkour is gymnastics at its roots. What Parkour showed me was that guys thought it was cool to flip. It also showed me that discovering your own body is a whole heck of a lot more fun than being critiqued every two seconds by a coach. Five-year-olds don’t follow fads and trends I’m sure it’s easy to assume that the NinjaZone was simply a smart way to make a few bucks off one TV show’s popularity. That would’ve been much easier than the truth. Contrarily, I had only seen the show once in 2013 and didn’t bank on it even being around. I thought it would be another American Gladiators and a flash in the pan. What I do know, is that 5-year-olds don’t lie, and they also don’t follow trends. They’ll tell you what they love…and they love NinjaZone! NinjaZone is a fusion of gymnastics, parkour, obstacle training, and martial arts for a reason. It’s meant to meet the needs of all children and is designed with the following foundations: Discipline and a progressive level system from martial arts Strength and agility from obstacle course training Discovery and creativity from parkour Confidence building, intermittent feedback, and progressions from gymnastics It’s all about the relationship What I also have seen in my time as a 2nd generation gymnastics club owner is that bounce houses, jungle gyms, and even trampoline parks, have a shelf life. That is because they lack purpose, variety, and the coaching relationship. Don’t get me wrong, the new Ninja equipment is awesome. It looks cool, it’s super fun and challenging (for a while), but then what? Do it faster? That’s fine for a teen or an adult, but our gymnastics businesses wouldn’t survive without our grassroots programming. Without the SPORT. The skills, progressions, and WINS you must have before throwing an aesthetically pleasing $10,000 piece of equipment in your gym. It worries me to no end that club owners in our space would take for granted the talent, passion, and skill that our gymnastics community has, and not use it! The fact that they would build what essentially is the “next bounce house” and give up the opportunity to truly make a deep contribution to the well-being of our next generation is concerning. We know fundamental movement better than any group on the planet. Looking at the bigger picture Through our licensed gym club community, we learned quickly how important the programming is. We learned quickly that kids running around in a circle and up and down a wall without a PLAN, is a house of cards. I think it’s awesome that American Ninja Warrior and the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation have given us this opportunity. Cheerleading gave us this opportunity 20 years ago, and many of us turned our noses up to it (me included). This time around, it’s so much bigger than rebranding and re-marketing men’s gymnastics. It’s about making it cool for boys to flip again, as well as climb, traverse, swing, jump, and conquer! Call it whatever you want. It’s great for them, and it’s great for us as a gymnastics industry. So, let them be a Ninja. Ninjas can be anything.

  • 4 Keys to Successful Gym Ownership

    This piece was generously contributed by Diane Trifiro of Ohio Sports Academy. My name is Diane Trifiro and my husband and I own Ohio Sports Academy (formerly known as Hand to Hand) in Springboro, OH. When our son David, joined Hand 2 Hand in 1997 as a seven-year-old, it never ever entered my mind that one day we would own the gym that became a second home to him. David tried soccer and baseball but neither of those sports seemed a good fit for him, so when it was time to sign up for fall soccer we explored other options and since he was very flexible, gymnastics seemed a good fit for him. We tried one gym and we loved it there, but practice for team ended later than his bedtime so we had to look for other options. A new gym in our town had just opened and it offered a sport that we had never heard of before – trampoline and tumbling – and it was at that new gym that David found his home away from home, one of his first jobs and a goal to one day to own the gym. Fast forward to 2010 and the gym came up for sale – David was only 23 and unable to buy the gym, but my husband and I could, so we did! This summer makes our seven year anniversary as gym owners and even more exciting for us – our very last payment on our loan will be made in September! Our gym had good bones when we bought it and had an average monthly enrollment of about 500 kids. Seven years later we have grown to service almost 1000 kids each month.  We are expecting to enroll over 1100 kids for the very first time in January 2018. Some of the things that have allowed us to grow include moving to true month to month enrollment, the addition of NinjaZone in May of 2015, the ability to hire and retain staff members, and always treating our customers the way we would like to be treated. 1. The biggest change came for us in the spring of 2015. That spring we became a first adopter of NinjaZone (one of the first 25 gyms in the country to have NZ) AND we also went to true month to month enrollment. I cannot overstate the significance of that! We used to lose up to 35% of our kids in the summer because we dropped them at the end of May and parents had to enroll them for the summer and the same thing happened at the end of August. We were telling our families that our services were not a year-round commitment – what were we thinking?? This summer we only experienced a drop in enrollment of 7% from our peak month to August, which is normally our slowest month.  If you have not made the switch to month to month enrollment, I highly encourage you to do so – our results speak for themselves. 2. This increase in the summer enrollment has in turn greatly increased our revenue and our profit. That helped us do some things for our staff that were not possible before. We now are able to pay them for gym holidays. Our gym closes for Easter Sunday, Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day, Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving and a week to a week and a half during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. All of that time off is paid time off for our employees. They love having the time off and we love being able to pay them for that time off. In 2016, we were able to offer our employees who work more than 25 hours paid health insurance. In 2018 we will offer a paid retirement account for employees. 3. While the above two items were important in our growth, I think the most important thing we do is to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated as a customer. Our gym had policies that were just not very parent-friendly when we bought it. There was a 10 day written notice to drop a class and if it was not followed there was a penalty to be paid. We dropped that requirement – we ask that parents let us know before the end of the month that they are dropping – easy for them and easy for us – but we also know that parents are super busy and sometimes forget to let us know. So if they call us the first week of the month that they want to drop the class – we refund their money. Do we like to do that? No. But we think the goodwill that is given by not making a big deal about it goes a long way in that busy parent’s mind. We know that many of our families drop for a short period of time and come back and we don’t want to burn bridges by penalizing them for forgetting to make a phone call. 4. When a child comes in for a trial class, we walk them into the locker room to show them where to put their personal items and then walk them out to the floor and find a friend for them to buddy up with during warmups and class for that night. Makeup classes or open gyms are offered for missed classes. We appreciate the money that parents spend in our gym and want them to feel they are getting good value for their money. My husband and I plan to sell the gym to David and his wife in the summer of 2021, when we retire. My husband and I feel good about leaving them in a great position to be successful and can’t wait to see where they take the gym in the future! P.S. When I read this to David he said there is a mistake in the last paragraph – he suggested I change “sell” the gym to “GIVE” the gym to David and his wife. What a jokester!

  • The Problem With Pink

    It all started when we tried to buy my daughter a bicycle for her fourth birthday. Oh, who am I kidding? It started when we found out we were pregnant with my daughter even though we wouldn’t know she was a “daughter” until the day of her birth. Waiting to find out the sex of your child is pure torture for your family and friends, and I highly recommend it. We wanted to be surprised, and we didn’t want our entire world to turn pink or blue just yet. Five years can make quite a difference in the world of baby gear. Gender neutral for our first pregnancy meant a lot of ducks.  Like a lot. I’m not sure who decided that baby ducks were equally appealing to little girls and little boys, but their lack of imagination annoys me to this day. Today the options are much more trendy and much less ornithological. Nevertheless, we successfully navigated a pregnancy without knowing the gender of our child. But as soon as she was born, shades of pink dominated our lives and her wardrobe. To be fair, I like pink. I did ballet as a kid, played with Barbies, pretended to be a Disney princess, and in many regards followed traditional gender roles, and sometimes stereotypes. And I don’t think I am totally ruined as an adult. But don’t we all look at parenting as a chance to do better? To create a better version of ourselves? So, I decided that I wanted my daughter to play sports in addition to dancing ballet. I wanted her to realize that pink and purple, hearts and ice cream, sweetie and cuties, did not have to dominate her closet. I wanted her to aspire to be more than a princess, to be the hero of her own story. Back to the bike. My daughter wanted nothing more than a “big girl bike” for her fourth birthday. And do you know what I learned? It is almost impossible to get a bike for a girl that isn’t pink or isn’t decorated with a princess or a Barbie. And it really frustrated me. Unless we were willing to drop an inappropriate amount of money for a child’s bike, our options were pink or pink and purple. I would have been happy to see ducks. My frustration rose to a boiling point when an associate at Walmart saw her gleefully riding a red bike, perfect for any child, and said to her, “Sweetie, don’t you want a girl’s bike?” At the tender age of four, my daughter’s options should not be so dramatically limited. What I want for her is exactly the same thing I want for my other two children, both boys. I want her to be able to choose who she wants to be in this world. Maybe who she wants to be is a pretty princess who wears nothing but tulle and pearls. But maybe she wants to be a construction worker. Maybe she wants to be an athlete who rolls her eyes at the thought of wearing a dress. And maybe, and most likely, she will want to be a combination of all of these things, because aren’t we all a little complicated? So, that’s the problem with pink. It’s just not enough. I want all of the colors of the rainbow for her. I want ballerinas and Ninjas and ballerina Ninjas. My daughter will have plenty of time to choose who she wants to be in life, so for now, I am perfectly happy watching her in a muddy tutu ride her red bike down the street. #gender #girls

  • Healthy After School Snacks For Kids

    Are your kids suffering from the after-school munchies? Here are 3 tasty snacks for kids! Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites 1 cup of dry oatmeal 1/2 cup of ground flax seeds 1/2 cup of peanut butter (or almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.) 1/3 cup of agave nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup) 1/3 cup of chocolate chips Check out some other energy-bite recipes here! After you have chosen your energy bite variation simply mix all the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Once mixed, place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then, take the mix out and begin rolling into small bite-sized balls. The recipe should yield 16-18 energy bites! Coconut Oil Popcorn 2 tablespoons of coconut oil ¼ cup of unpopped  popcorn Sea salt to taste Place popcorn and oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat. You may want to cover them with a lid so that popcorn doesn’t fly everywhere! Shake the pot as the popcorn begins popping. This will help stop the popped corn from burning while the rest of the kernels cook. Listen for the pops when the popping begins to slow. Wait until there are about 5 seconds between pops before taking off the heat. Season with sea salt for taste and enjoy! Roasted Chickpeas 12 oz. chickpeas 2 tablespoons of olive oil Salt to taste (optional) Cayenne pepper (optional) Garlic salt (optional) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a large bowl toss together the olive oil the chickpeas. You can also add in some other spices depending on the taste you are going for! Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy! Roasted chickpeas? Yes, please! Go and try these awesome snacks for your children!

  • Setting a Goal for School

    School will be starting soon, or it may have started for some of your kids. A great way to get your child pumped for the year is to have them set some goals and tackle them one goal at a time! Goals promote great character traits in your kids such as responsibility and discipline. Setting goals will also help keep your child motivated throughout the year! An easy way to create goals is by using the S.M.A.R.T. method. This method allows for goals to be clear and achievable for children and even adults. Let me break down what each of the letters means and give examples! S.M.A.R.T. Goal Method S- Specific. This means that the goal isn’t vague or too broad. They should simply explain the what, why, and how of what you plan to do. For example, “I want to make $20 by starting up a lemonade stand so that I can buy that new toy I want. It clearly identifies what they are doing, how they are going to do it, and why. M- Measurable. A goal should be able to be measured. If you can’t measure it, how can you track your progress? Sticking with the lemonade stand example, “I will sell 20 cups of lemonade for a dollar each.” They can easily measure how well they are doing by seeing how many more cups they need to sell. A- Attainable. The goal needs to be achievable and realistic. Will the child be able to reach the goal? “I will set up the lemonade stand with the help of my mom.” R- Relevant. Is this goal worth it? Goals are a great thing but can become a problem when they aren’t necessary for what they want in life. “Creating a lemonade stand will help me to gain money for the new toy I want.” T- Time-bound. This is essentially creating a timeline and setting a deadline for the goal to stay on track. “I will sell lemonade Friday afternoon and finish selling on Saturday afternoon.” Download our free SMART Guide!

  • 10 Uncommon Sport Options For Your Child

    We all know someone whose kid does ballet, soccer, basketball, softball, or swimming, but what if your child doesn’t like any of the mainstream sport options? There are plenty of sports that will help your little one get all the physical activity s/he needs without getting lost in the crowd. Here are a few options: 1. Equestrian Riding horses requires huge amounts of balance and coordination, but riders also develop great reflexes. What most parents forget, though, is that equestrian also comes with a great deal of responsibility for the rider. The athlete is required to groom, feed, saddle, brush, and care for the horse and stable. While it is considered an individual sport, athletes often develop a sense of community with each other. 2. Bowling Bowling obviously builds a lot of strength in the athlete, as well as hand-eye coordination. There is a large sense of community among bowlers within a league, and many high schools across the country are adopting the sport. While bowling is a sport, it requires a lot of mental energy and focus, and it teaches math skills. 3. Archery One major attraction to archery for a lot of families is its versatility in being both an indoor and outdoor sport. This is perfect no matter where in the world you live! Athletes build a variety of muscles as well as skills in focus, self-determination, and coordination. 4. Water Sports All water sports require balance and coordination, but each sport differs in certain ways. For example, rowing provides a whole body workout and teaches teamwork. When your athlete is sailing a boat, s/he must learn communication skills to keep the boat afloat. Keep in mind: your child’s participation in water sports depends on your geographical location. 5. Fencing Fencing emphasizes agility, coordination, and use of reflexes. Many call it as mentally stimulating as a game of chess, so you know your child is getting a brain and body workout. Plus, you’re giving your kid a sword-like object to use in a controlled environment; that’s bound to make someone happy! 6. Rugby While rugby is more popular on different continents around the world, it is just gaining popularity in North America. While rugby obviously builds strength, it also enhances endurance and coordination, not to mention teamwork. Like bowling, many schools are adding rugby as an athletic option. 7. Golf Your child could be the next Jordan Spieth, but you won’t know until you sign him/her up for classes. Golf requires immense amounts of coordination, patience, focus, and strength. Bonus exercise if you ban riding in the golf cart and have your kid walk all 9-18 holes!

  • Ninja Inspired Sugar Cookie Recipe

    Do you have a child with sweet ninja moves and a little bit…a huge sweet tooth? Well here is a fun and sweet, ninja inspired sugar cookie recipe for you. The recipe is nice and simple and can be done with your kiddo! You are going to need a few ingredients and some imagination as well. Let’s start off with all the ingredients you will need for this recipe! Ingredients 2 cups of all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened 1 cup of sugar 1 egg, beaten 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Optional: colored icing Recipe: In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking, powder, and salt. In another bowl, take an electric mixer and slowly mix in the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. Next, mix in the egg and vanilla extract in the same bowl as the sugar and butter mix. Then, slowly begin to pour in the flour mixture with the mixture on low. Mix everything together until completely combined. Split the dough in half and flatten into disks. Wrap them with plastic wrap. Let the dough freeze for 20 minutes or until firm. The dough is good frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw before use. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the dough and let it sit out for 5 minutes before rolling out the dough 1/8 inch thick. For easier and cleaner rolling use parchment paper sprinkled with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Okay so here comes the fun part of the recipe! After you have your dough rolled out, take a star-shaped cookie cutter and begin pressing into the dough with it. Take the cut-out dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10-18 minutes or until golden brown. Finally, let cool completely and you and your kiddo can begin decorating with icing or colored sugar! After decorating you can enjoy your handmade, ninja inspired sugar cookies! Such a fun, easy recipe, but you probably shouldn’t try throwing them though…that will get messy!

  • Ninja Class Bingo

    Who doesn’t love bingo? Try this super fun Ninja bingo with your classes, camps, and/or birthday parties! There is a version for each Ninja level, so your Ninjas can mark off skills for their individual skill levels. You choose the type of bingo: diagonals, four corners, postage stamp, five in a row, etc. Remember that the center square is a freebie! Ninjas will love competing for fun prizes or the glory of winning Ninja bingo! Get the free printables here: Ninja Class Bingo


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