My daughter, of pre-school/elementary age, sometimes runs around the house saying, “I gotta get the wiggles out!” No doubt, it’s hard to be a little kid and sit still all day at school. If that bottled up energy doesn’t get out, it manifests itself in other ways, usually not beneficial to the harmony of our household.
Recently, while monitoring the cafeteria area after dismissal at our partner school, I watched as middle school students ran around, got loud, and in general, goofed off. It reminded me of my daughter’s wiggles which then brought to mind what a parenting coach once said, “The behaviors you see at age 3, 4, 5, you will see again in ten years.” Based on my daughter and my glimpse into middle schoolers (roughly aged 11-14), that about adds up!
It’s well documented that all humans need movement. Doctors routinely tell us not to sit around all day, encourage us to take the stairs to our office, buy a standing desk, go for a walk…move. Our kids also need movement but struggle to control the impulse to move. Even as schools and teachers incorporate movement into the school day, there’s still energy bottled up waiting to burst forth. Thus, the importance of extracurriculars, especially for middle schoolers.
While our middle school students may look like adults and have more responsibility, they are still kids with dreams, silliness, and need for movement. Extracurriculars allow our students to BE kids - to reach for their dreams, joke around with friends, and be active. As I look back on 2023, we sparked a lot of wiggles! From the fields to the auditorium to the LEGO room, students MOVED. They made friendships and discovered a path to achieve their dreams. We are so grateful to our Start 1 Spark community for believing in our students and providing the means for them to move forward physically, mentally, and socially.
This holiday season, I hope you and your family get the wiggles out and make memories to last a lifetime!