When you are a big person, do you want a body like a RACE CAR or “one of these” (point to the clunker choices)? Does the car you picked require any special care, or can you do whatever you want to it, put any kind of fuel in it and expect that it will never “get sick” or break down? If your car were a person, how would you recharge the battery if it runs low? (Children need to realize that sleep is very important for good performance.) If it were a person, would it matter what kind of fuel you used to refill the gas tank? If it were a person, how allinoneplumbinganddrain important would it be to check to see if the car’s radiator has enough water? Does water have an important role for us? How do engineers learn about obtaining the best performance from your car? How do doctors know these things about our bodies? What do WE need to know about how our bodies work? Cleaning the car helps prevents rust and enables it to look good. Is this why we bathe, brush, floss, shampoo and so on? Does it matter what the car weighs? Why — and is there a similar effect of added weight on our bodies? What if smoke came from the car–would this concern you? Should people assume that smoke in the lungs or other organs has any affect on their bodies? You might conclude the game at some point by asking if there is not one striking difference between making mistakes with the car and with your body? One difference to note, though there are obviously many, is that you can trade in a car for a newer model if you have the money, but you have to stick with the one body you get in life as long as you live –no matter how much money you have. Summary
There are many resources for teaching children about wellness. The National Wellness Institute in Stevens Point, WI is a good resource for educational materials, in general, and childrens wellness, in particular. Many internet sites also offer wellness education. One of the above games was adapted from a free monthly e-mail newsletter from the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. Search around the net and you will be amazed at all the ideas you will find for teaching wellness to your children. But, no matter what games or lessons you describe with words, the best teaching device will always be your own good example.
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Publisher of the ARDELL WELLNESS REPORT – an electronic newsletter devoted to weekly commentaries on current issues that affect personal and social well being from a quality of life perspective.