Creating healthy snacks from your Harvest
Come September, beyond thoughts of back to school, all I can think about is my garden HARVEST. Back in April when I started my seedlings, the thought of the HARVEST was far off, but now that it’s here, all I start to think about is the yummy delicious items I can make with my [...] Read More
BOKS resources for back to school
At BOKS, we have been preparing all summer for whatever the fall may hold. We can’t predict what will happen, but we can ensure our teachers, families, and children have the resources they need to stay active while staying safe. Here are some of the materials you can expect to see from BOKS this fall: BOKS September Calendar [...] Read More
What Is Social-Emotional Learning? Why Is It important?
Social-emotional learning (or SEL) is an important tool that helps children manage their emotions and handle social interactions. It enables them to develop self-control, self-discipline, and self-awareness. The benefits of this learning style are numerous: it reduces depression, improves attitudes, and promotes altruistic behaviours like sharing and kindness. Studies show that it even improves their [...] Read More
The Silver Lining – Taking Time to Pause
The end of the 2019/2020 school year was certainly unlike one we’ve ever seen, but in that time, our children proved how immensely resilient they truly are. As we creep closer to September, and the start of a school year that in many respects feels as uncertain as the last, the mental resiliency and strength of [...] Read More
4 Ways to Get Out in Nature this Summer
Many of my best memories of childhood are linked to time spent having fun in the park, on the playground, in the street or in nature! Each season has so much to offer families and provides a great opportunity to try out different activities to give our routine a little change. Kids love spending time [...] Read More
Tips and Tricks for Creating Independent Structure over the Summer
It’s been an incredibly stressful time, and it’s important that we start to prepare for the summer months with our kids - maybe above all else, it is important that during this time we do what we can to support our kids in feeling happy, safe, and secure. Without many summer programs able to run [...] Read More
20 Rainy Day Activities for Kids and Parents
For anyone with kids, it goes without saying that most of us have been stretched to our limits in finding ways to keep them entertained and busy during these last few months. Not only were most self-isolating in our homes, but many parents continued to work from home. It has been without a doubt the [...] Read More
Back to School Strategies While Keeping Students Moving!
As various provinces and territories plan a return-to-school, physical educators and school staff are busy planning so that physical activities and education are included throughout the school day. National, Provincial/Territorial, and District guidelines and recommendations are to be followed, however, ideas that could be considered when planning and adapting physical activities for kindergarten to grade [...] Read More
Sharing a Passion of Gardening with Your Kids!
Gardening is a passion of mine. I can’t remember a time that I did not have a garden in my yard/patio/balcony/deck. Now that we’ve been confined to our home (only leaving for essentials) due to the coronavirus, gardening has taken on a whole new meaning for me. A little bit of history here. Gardening during [...] Read More
BOKS Winning Schools for 2020!
And the Award Goes To... BOKS Canada would like to extend a congratulatory shout out to these five amazing schools, representing five provinces from coast to coast. Centennial Elementary, Saint John, New Brunswick Palgrave Public School, Caledon, Ontario Centennial Park School, Chateauguay, Quebec Dallas Elementary, Kamloops, British Columbia École Broxton Park School, Spruce Grove, Alberta There were so many [...] Read More
UNITING AGAINST RACISM: A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
To Our BOKS Community, I want to reach out on behalf of the entire BOKS team and acknowledge the pain and suffering that so many in the Black community, as well as all communities battling injustice, are experiencing in the United States and across the globe. BOKS would not exist without you. We pledge to [...] Read More
The BOKS School of the Year Award
A physically active child is a cog in the wheel of a highly functioning school community, whereas the opportunities for the education experience are optimized. We are ultimately tied from our physical selves to how we think, feel and develop. This is why physical activity is essential, not just for children, but for everyone. At [...] Read More
Getting Physically Active with Board Games and Card Games
With many families spending most of their time at home, the need for new activities to stay active is in high demand. Adaptations to some of my “family favourites” are listed below. Hopefully this can inspire families to carve out some time every week, (even 5-10 minutes per day is very helpful), to spend time [...] Read More
20 Bursts that allow students to stay active, at a distance!
Physical Distancing, NO Problem! Some schools across the country are making plans to get kids back into the classroom and others are considering what will happen in the Fall. At BOKS, we know regardless of the situation, it is important to keep our kids moving. We have compiled a list of our top 20 [...] Read More
Sharing inspiration in unusual ways during this new “stay home” time
If there is one thing I have found in this new “stay home” time, it’s that the way we are connecting with people has changed. I am feeling more connected to those who live far away as we experiment with virtual game nights and video conference calls. I am spending more quality time with the [...] Read More
Navigating the Virtual Teaching World
Teachers are being asked to teach in a time of crisis and this situation is new to everyone. There is no right or wrong way to go about engaging our students, it is just different than what we are used to. At BOKS, we wanted to know how some of our BOKS trainers and teachers [...] Read More
20 Ways To Stay Active At Home with Kids
Creating a new routine can be tricky for kids – especially when there is very little structure without school, extracurricular activities, or sports. For parents, it’s even more difficult to manage a job, your kids, find time to exercise (or even just breathe)! At BOKS, we know how much physical activity helps our mental health [...] Read More
What is missing? THE GAME
You will need: A table or tray A variety of small toys or objects from your home A piece of material or tea towel instructions: Get different objects from around your home and place them on a table. Get your child to take a look at what they can see – you can [...] Read More
Keeping Your Cup Full = Taking Care of Yourself
You may have heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, which brings so much truth to our reality today. Taking care of ourselves means we are keeping our cup full, providing us the ability to give and care for others. This resonates with me a lot and is something I have been [...] Read More
Adjusting to Life @HOME – Finding Balance in this New World
Although we are all in completely different situations, with varying degrees of stress, workloads and priorities, we can likely all attest that these new and uncertain times are finding us at home more often, if not all the time. In some cases, we may have more time on our hands with less social events in [...] Read More
What about physical activity in remote communities?
BOKS: New Learnings from Remote Canadian Communities Canada is a beautiful country, and every city or town has their own unique characteristics. Over the past few months, the BOKS Canada team has had the opportunity to explore many communities to learn from students, parents, teachers, elders, and community members who live there - we wanted to understand the best way to engage with communities about their physical [...] Read More
Easy and Inclusive Pool Noodles Games
Have you ever see the child who ignores the expensive toy and plays with the box that it came in? That is often the case with kids, as something insignificant may be a great source of interest. For those of us who work with children in the physical activity space, finding that “cardboard box” is [...] Read More
Why is Physical Activity Important for Kids’ Sleep?
Exercise is not only good for our bodies and brains, but it also has a significant impact on our sleep. When was the last time you woke up and felt rested? Sleep is extremely important for our health and performance in life. I used to think that I could operate on low sleep but that [...] Read More
WINTER HOLIDAY FUN PACK
Wouldn’t it be fun to keep BOKS going throughout the holidays? We have created a free “Holiday Fun Pack” so that our community can bring a little BOKS to their time off. This packet can be used by families, neighbourhood gatherings, or by an individual looking for activities to do at home. Just because we’re [...] Read More
Have a few minutes to spare in class? Try this!
You know the feeling: the kids have wrapped up their work, or packed up their bag, or the librarian is running late picking the kids up…and now you have 5 minutes where you need to either keep the kids busy, or the boredom will set in, which of course leads to behavior challenges. Here are [...] Read More
Teach kids to eat well in a fun way
Getting kids to eat well can be an uphill battle, made significantly more difficult with the increasing number of convenient, delicious, albeit wildly unhealthy options available to them. In order to help reverse this trend, we need to be able to provide our kids with the tools to make positive choices around their food, while [...] Read More
BOKS Canada 5th anniversary
BOKS CELEBRATES 5 YEARS OF PROVIDING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, WELLNESS AND FUN FOR CANADIAN CHILDREN BOKS IS NOW PRESENT IN MORE THAN 1,300 CANADIAN SCHOOLS IN ALL 10 PROVINCES AND 3 TERRITORIES Join BOKS as we celebrate 5 years in Canada (Facebook event here), from September 23 to September 27, by participating in our week-long celebration [...] Read More
Reflections on 5 Years of BOKS
September 24 marks an important day for BOKS, and an important one for me personally. It was 5 years ago, on September 24, 2014, that I was working at the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). My role at the time was to help integrate a JK (Junior Kindergarten) student who was on the autism [...] Read More
How to Help Kids Cope with their Fear of Going Back to School
It’s that time of year again- shopping lists, final vacations, and soaking up the last of the summer sun. Back to School: a joy for some, and a significant challenge for others. We can help our kids overcome their fear of heading back to the classroom for another year with a few simple tips and [...] Read More
8 TIPS for keeping your kids engaged over the summer
1. Go for a bike ride or head to the park to toss around a frisbee or fly a kite. "This activity is all inclusive (younger kids can hop into a bike seat or trailer) and can be done with multiple families at once. The social aspect is just as much fun as the physical [...] Read More
Congratulations to the BOKS 2019 Trainers of the Year!
BOKS is extremely grateful to ALL our trainers who dedicate their time to ensure our Canadian children stay physically active. Our volunteer trainers are beyond essential and play an extremely large role in the success of BOKS. We simply can’t thank everyone enough, although given the opportunity we certainly would like to. Like last year, [...] Read More
The Importance of Yoga & Mindfulness
A NOTE FROM TARA STILES – Founder of STRALA Yoga and contributor to the BOKS Yoga & Mindfulness curriculum. It’s not the yoga that heals you. It’s you that heals you. I was lucky as a kid to grow up with a healthy dose of mindfulness without the side of pretense. My parents led by example [...] Read More
How to Help Kids Cope and Deal with Stress
When I first set out to write this I started to think about stress from a kid’s perspective. I have two daughters aged 14 and 9 and they encounter stressful situations on a weekly basis. I thought about their unique personalities and developmental stages, but what I realized as I looked at what causes stress [...] Read More
Inclusive Ways to get Everyone Moving at Recess!
Spring has sprung! With the weather getting nicer, it’s time to get the kids outside and make the most of their RECESS time. The reality is, kids spend most of the springtime in school waiting for summer vacation to begin. With the nicer weather they will hopefully be getting outdoors more often and recess will not [...] Read More
Best Practices for Implementing Bursts into the Classroom and Home Environments
You know that feeling when you’ve been sitting for too long and you can’t help but start to fidget and stretch? We’ve all experienced it whether we are stuck in a meeting or lounging on the couch and if we as adults experience it, you better believe it happens to kids in the classroom or [...] Read More
The Importance of Posture for Adults and Children and How to Improve It
It is fascinating to me that the more that we look at improving our health and the quality of our lives, that we often look back the past to find the answers. The Paleo Diet became a phenomenon when it reminded us that our body’s optimum fuel sources didn’t evolve to cheese puffs and marshmallows. [...] Read More
6 tips to make physical activity fun
Physical activity is good for both our body and our mind! Although we are aware of its benefits, finding the motivation to move regularly can be hard. This is even more difficult when we are not used to moving regularly. At specific times of the year, when my motivation decreases, I really need to find pleasure [...] Read More
Strategies for welcoming children with special needs into your BOKS class
We all know that children are not achieving their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. But with close to 20% of children living with some form of physical or cognitive disability, these children are at even more risk of not achieving the amount of activity they need to maintain their health. I have [...] Read More
BOKS Bit – Eat Well Plate
At BOKS we are excited about the new Canada Food Guide. What a great opportunity for our Trainers to add a discussion around the new and improved Food Guide to our end of class nutrition discussions. Why not explore the “Eat Well Plate” in your next BOKS Bit? (print off and laminate the Eat Well Plate [...] Read More
Our BOKS Family had a LOT to say!
Our BOKS Family had a LOT to say! This past Fall, we asked our BOKS schools to let us know what they love about BOKS. We were overwhelmed with the response. We heard from trainers, students and parents from across the country. You shared your stories, pictures and all the reasons why BOKS is [...] Read More
How Do I Motivate Myself to Exercise First Thing in the Morning?
Do you train early in the morning? If so, did you notice the energy boost and the increased productivity that come from it? Morning workouts offer several benefits for the mind and body, although training at any time is always good. Morning workouts increase our metabolic rate, reduce our stress level and help us burn [...] Read More
What is working for BOKS Schools Across the Country
Sharing BOKS Success Stories, Tips and Tricks, from Coast to Coast We hear from our trainers on a regular basis and in many instances are lucky enough to visit your schools and see your sessions in action. What we have seen and experienced across the country blows us away each and every time. THANK YOU [...] Read More
BOKS 2018 Annual Report is here!
Through our partnership with adidas/Reebok and The Public Health Agency of Canada, we are able to continue to develop our tools, resources, and training materials, and plan to reach even more schools and children in 2019 and beyond. We encourage you to check out our 2018 Annual Report for more details about how we [...] Read More
The many benefits of Yoga & Mindfulness for children
Did you know that in addition to our rich core BOKS programing (both elementary and middle school curriculums), our 2-10 minute BOKS Bursts DPA activities, and so much more, BOKS Canada also provides our participating schools, teachers, parents, and other volunteer “Champions of Change” a comprehensive Yoga & Mindfulness curriculum supplement. Why Yoga and mindfulness [...] Read More
Why working with kids can make you happier
Working with kids can be multi-faceted - sometimes, it can be tricky, hilarious, challenging, but most of all, it's fun! As you may have experienced in your life, children are very special, and each child is unique. They are very spontaneous, full of energy and all they want is to play and keep themselves busy [...] Read More
Why you should stop being intimidated by yoga
If you’re like me, chances are that yoga and yoga experts intimidate you. You know the type: perfect body, great-looking (and expensive) outfits, immaculate and colorful yoga mats, perfect form, etc. Before I became a writer and translator, I used to be a Reebok Spinning instructor, and while I felt I was in great shape, [...] Read More
New Year’s Resolutions, How to Make Them Stick.
Yes, it is that time of year again. The indulgence of the holiday season more often than not leads to the desire to make changes. Therefore, the time honoured standard of New Year’s Resolutions rear their ugly heads. From a positive perspective, people want to make changes to better their lives, or those around them. [...] Read More
6 activities to encourage your children to play outside during winter!
When the cold sets in, we tend to want to stay inside! As parents, when winter comes around, we’d rather wait for the sun and the milder weather to come back then venture out with the kids. With some tricks and imagination, we can help children enjoy playing outdoors in all weather conditions. We must, [...] Read More
Thank you for an outstanding year!
This year has been a whirlwind for us here at BOKS. We jumped from 744 enrolled schools to an 1,100+ schools. We are proud and awed by how many incredible volunteers have stepped up to promote health and wellness in their school communities, making a real, tangible difference in the lives of children. We know [...] Read More
Winter is Coming – How will you keep your students and kids active?
Winter is right around the corner (or perhaps came early depending on what part of the country you live in). With fewer hours of daylight and colder temperatures, the struggle to maintain activity levels throughout the winter months is a challenge for parents, kids and within our school communities. Indoor recess and lunch significantly reduce [...] Read More
Be Role Models, Be The Change
It’s evidently clear, a large number of Canadian kids are failing to make the grade when it comes to reaching the recommended physical activity targets for children and youth; at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Less hours are being devoted to active play and instead too much time is being spent [...] Read More
“Every single school I’ve visited has seen significant improvements in the kid’s grades, behaviours and social inclusion” Nicolas Boulay, CFL player
I’ve been with BOKS for three years and found the best way to break down barriers and to get through to someone is through physical exercise. Every single school I’ve visited has seen significant improvements in the kids' grades, behaviours and social inclusion. The smiles, the laughs, the sweat and even sometimes the tears when [...] Read More
“For me personally BOKS strikes a cord” – Matthew Black, CFL player
Being a part of the BOKS program for the last several years has been an absolute blast. Not only are the teachers and trainers a pleasure to work with, but also the kids I meet at every school keep me excited for the next time I’ll get to visit a BOKS school. My favorite part [...] Read More
Read this blog before you take the first bite of Halloween candy!
Halloween is certainly a favourite among young children and adults alike. Children are excited about dressing-up as an iconic super hero, monster, or cartoon character. More importantly, they’re running door-to-door to fill their loot bags with candy…candy that is nothing more than sugar. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer all type [...] Read More
GYM CLASS TRAUMA LEADS TO FUTURE HEALTH PROBLEMS
A recent article published in the Daily Mail details a new research study which found children who were picked last or excluded in gym class were more likely to exercise less as adults. While not a surprise, this is cause for great concern, as standard gym class structure is centered around the idea of competition [...] Read More
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT : CAMERON SHEARING
This student spotlight came from a very special mom, Nicole Shearing, who took the time out of her busy life to post an update about her son on Facebook that was quickly circulated through our team. Nicole’s post not only brought tears to our eyes but served as a powerful reminder of why we do [...] Read More
Thanksgiving Day is a perfect opportunity to show gratitude – gratitude practice when practiced regularly can add years to your life
On Thanksgiving Day, as families all around Canada traditionally gather around the kitchen table to give thanks andcelebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year, research show that this gratitude practice when practiced regularly can add years to your life. Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the UC Davis in California [...] Read More
From 1 to 1000: reflections from the first BOKS school in Canada
BOKS Canada now has 1000 schools enrolled in the BOKS program! To celebrate our 1000th school enrollment, let’s take it way back, to our very first Canadian BOKS school, and see how BOKS has positively impacted kids, staff, and the school community. This is what Don Hutchinson, Principal of Ranch Park Elementary School in Coquitlam BC, and [...] Read More
7 TIPS TO STAY ACTIVE IN ALL POSSIBLE WAY
Did you know that nowadays people are sitting 9.3 hours a day, which is more than we're sleeping, at 7.7 hours? Sitting has become the smoking of our generation. Since I started working with BOKS, I have totally changed the way I work. Understanding the importance of physical activity, I try to keep myself active [...] Read More
As much as I enjoy the summer, my favourite time of year is fall. No, not just because it’s pumpkin spice season. I love the combination of the return to routine, paired with the fresh excitement of a new year – back to making lunches and doing drop-offs and pick-ups, the kids seeing their friends [...] Read More
What it means to volunteer with BOKS
We all get to that place in our lives when we start to think about giving back. For some it starts as teens, helping with younger children or modeling our parents and role models, and helping their causes. For others, it can start later in life, once children have grown or workloads soften. No matter [...] Read More
What to do to entertain the kids for the last days of summer?
Very soon, the summer holiday will come to an end. You have been to the zoo, the amusement park and the water slides and now the kids are getting bored at home? What to do all day? Get moving! As parents, we have to model the behavior we want our kids to have. That means [...] Read More
Share your BOKS Story
BOKS is in more than 900 schools across this great nation. But within each one of those schools are children, and adults, who have amazing stories to share. Stories of transformation, of dedication, and of the power of sport to change lives. Here are some of those tales: Roxanne Moeskops, [...] Read More
8 WAYS TO WORKOUT WITH YOUR KIDS
One of the struggles that all families will understand is this: how do I stay fit and active now that I have kids?? I look at my younger colleagues, those in their 20s and 30s who are just getting their own condos or just getting married. I scroll through their Instagram posts and see them [...] Read More
Trainer of the Year Winners – May 2018
BOKS is extremely thankful to ALL our trainers who dedicate their time to ensure our Canadian children stay physically active. Our volunteer trainers are beyond essential and play an extremely large role in the success of BOKS. We simply can’t thank everyone enough. “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” [...] Read More
Getting Active Outdoors with Your Kids
As the weather improves across the country, we are dusting off our bikes, pumping our tires full of air and getting outdoors. Everyone is feeling the joy of longer days and warmer temperatures. But the habits of a more sedentary winter may be slow to change. How can you kick start your spring, make the [...] Read More
Did you see BOKS in the New York Times?
We have some extremely exciting news here at BOKS: researchers from Mass General Hospital for Children published research showing that the BOKS program not only improves BMI but also impacts children's school engagement, vitality and general happiness. Not only was the study published in the American Journal for Preventative Medicine but widely respected New York Times Journalist Gretchen Reynolds [...] Read More
Announcement from BOKS Executive Director Kathleen Tullie: INTRODUCING OUR NEW LOOK
Since founding BOKS in 2009, the program has evolved quite a bit. What began as a before-school physical activity program run by three enthusiastic moms, has turned into a movement backed by scientists and adopted by nearly 3,000 communities across the globe. Since that time, our children’s need for daily movement has become increasingly dire. [...] Read More
BOKS Trainer Spotlight: Jesse Farren-James
BOKS was founded on the belief that movement has the power to improve a child physically, mentally and socially. It is unclear however, whether or not the three Natick moms that startedthe program had any inclination of the impact BOKS could have on an adult. As the Marketing Manager here at BOKS HQ, it is [...] Read More
Student Spotlight: Paige Meile
One of the best things about working for BOKS HQ is hearing about how the program is improving the lives of students, trainers and communities – and every so often we are contacted by particular individuals whose BOKS stories are so special we feel compelled to share them. Paige Meile is one of those individuals. [...] Read More
A note from Tara Stiles: It’s not the yoga that heals you. It’s you that heals you.
I was lucky as a kid to grow up with a healthy dose of mindfulness without the side of pretense. My parents led by example that it was important to take care of our bodies by eating close to nature, take care of ourselves and each other by acting with kindness, and take care of [...] Read More