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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Putting Some OOMPH in Our Lives

We learned about the word “oomph” this week and we are all the better for it. Oomph is Sid-speak for “force” and during the episode called “Sid’s Super Kick,” we had lots of opportunities to explore oomph. Leo was particularly struck by the episode because he just began taking a pre-soccer class at the recreation center in our town. After only a few Saturday mornings my boy is hooked. Leo already has great moves and strong focus. So, having the show open with Sid asking question about kicking a soccer ball was great.
I am always saying that preschoolers need to have concrete ways of understanding science concepts. Force is no exception. The example of the soccer ball was a perfect way to get out to the park with the boys and practice our oomph with kicking. Honestly, the idea that you have to kick the ball harder to get it to go farther was not unfamiliar to Leo or Henry. They knew intuitively as we practiced kicking the ball with different degrees of force what the outcome would be.
However, knowing the concept is different from mastering the words and using the academic vocabulary on your own. So, although Leo and Henry didn’t have trouble understanding the concept of force, they didn’t have the science vocabulary until this week. And I think that is cool. I’ve notice that the boys discuss new ideas in the car, and all week they’ve been chatting about force and “oomph.” I love listening from the front seat.
Sid’s use of the word “oomph” and soccer example also got me thinking about another True Trina Confession. (Yes, I need to trademark that.) So far in this blog I have confessed to not liking vegetables, forts, or playground snacking. This week, I will confess to not really doing a good job at all at being an active mom. My kids are very active, don’t get me wrong, but this Mom need to get her rear in gear.
I had no idea that baseball and soccer oomph would be just the thing I needed!
Leo’s soccer class requires parent participation. So there I am, at an early hour, running around with Leo, passing the ball, and chasing him around. Leo absolutely loves it. To be honest, I do too. I get winded, but to share that time with Leo and watch him learn to be healthy and active is really inspiring to me. It’s the same kind of excitement I get when we read a really great book together and the story makes us laugh or learn something. I never realized that I could get the same enjoyment out of running around. It’s the best incentive I’ve ever had to exercise. And boy, do I need it.
Henry is also beginning his first season of sports with baseball. My town takes little league very seriously and T-ball is the first introduction to the culture that makes my town tick. Gerry and I are pretty excited about it. Henry, unfortunately, is not as jazzed. So, what that means is that Mommy needs to don a glove at practice every week and help to motivate Henry.
My job is to warm Henry up before practice by playing catch. I have never played catch in my life. Really. When Henry whips that ball at me, it is all I can to keep from yelping and hiding my face in the glove. I am terrified, but exhilarated. Anyone who knows me will tell you about my fanaticism for the Boston Red Sox, but I have never ever played the game. It’s fun because Henry gets to watch me learn a new skill and I get to participate in his practice. He’s getting more comfortable with the idea of playing and I am trying to throw with “oomph.”
I am always looking for news ways to build some “oomph” into my life. I like the idea of finding ways to exercise and be active with my kids. The benefits are boundless and the rewards will show in my waistline and in my relationships with Henry and Leo.
Do you have any advice for how to be a more active parent? What sports or activities do your preschoolers like? How do you motivate your kids? I would really love to hear from you on this one!

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